“On My Mind: One Jewish Woman’s View,” mixed media works by Karen Kassap, opens June 20 at Beth El-Keser Israel in New Haven.
Kassap, who studied mixed media collage with Debi Pendell, says she enjoys this form of expression “because it lays apparent the dichotomy between the completed work and the many layers of paint and paper that form the foundation of the piece. The underlying support for my collages can seem chaotic and wild, and yet my goal as an artist is to draw the viewer in with something that is viscerally attractive, cohesive and sometimes quiet.”
Kassap, who says she works from many sources of inspiration, including photographs she has taken and artists she admires, created these works from painted papers, printed papers, acrylic paint, acrylic gel medium, and various found objects.
“The many layers required to create the work are often completely invisible to the viewer, but their existence is a mystery that draws one in,” she notes. “And sometimes, patient observation is rewarded with a glimpse of what lies beneath the surface — in the same way intimacy makes visible the hidden layers of oneself.”
Kassap says her artwork is an expression of her identity as a woman, a mother, a wife and a Jew. The proud triplet mom of Naomi, Myles and Sam, and the wife of Cary Caldwell, she volunteers her legal services at the Apostle Immigrant Services and works as a facilitator for the ADL Words to Action program.
An opening reception will be held Tuesday, June 25 at 6:30 pm, following the Tuesday evening minyan. A conversation with the artist will be Saturday, August 17 at 12:45, following the weekly services and luncheon; Sabbath rules will be observed. The exhibition closes August 20.
Sponsor: Congregation Beth El - Keser Israel