by Barbara Turner
On March 2nd and 3rd, the one-two punch of Midrash and Papercut Art exploded within the walls of the Social Hall and the minds of teens through the over 50 crowd. This year’s Artists in Residence, Isaac and Rabbi Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik engaged us with their unique take on how historic and current interpretations of B’reishit – particularly our own – can be brought to life. Starting with text samples, a short lesson on how to wield an exacto knife and photos of Isaac’s internationally-known artwork, participants were encouraged and guided through the process of taking an idea from rough sketch to finished project, ending with the opportunity to share individual text interpretations. Created by Isaac, posters of our work will be on display soon.
Comments from Saturday evening: “I enjoyed this more than I thought I would…being artistically challenged…and it was enlightening to hear why each person chose a particular midrash or quote, how their sketch reflected that interpretation, and how the comic book colors, images or words “filled in the space.”
“Paper Midrash was fantastic! I love that we got to make a piece of art. I also enjoyed learning about the different types of interpretations from Torah, stories that fill in the gaps versus how Torah is put into practice. The presenters brought great energy and knowledge.”
“As I looked at the final beautiful results of others, I realized it did not matter what my finished product looked like. It was not a competition, and it turned out to be much more fun than I had anticipated.”
From 9th/10th graders, the consensus was, “It was fun! I’d do it again!”