by Lilach Schrag, Artist-in-Residence What awesome mural painting fun we had this summer! In planning to add some new murals to our camp buildings, I prepared for a celebration of color and content, but ended up with much more.
Working with six different aidot on murals measuring up to 24 by 6 feet required lots of room, and a bunk vacant between sessions was magically converted into a cool temporary studio space. Walls and floors were covered in tarp, gallons of latex paint, large wood panels, various brushes, mixing containers and water buckets, making campers feel like serious artists. We even brought in some inspiring music!
We started each project with text study and an introduction to modern artists. We discussed Marc Chagall, Louise Nevelson, Keith Haring and Maya Cohen Levy, different visual interpretations of Creation, life in tents in the desert, and the story about Honi The Circle Maker and the old planter. We read about the days of Creation in Chapter One of Genesis, about the construction of the Mishkan and its dominant colors in Parashat T’rumah, and Balaam’s Ma Tovu blessing in Parashat Balak (which happened to be that week’s portion).
Campers teamed up to work on large group paintings. They arrived at our meetings excited and worked diligently as they applied new skills and incorporated their ideas, always cleaning for the next group. It was great to watch them being so respectful of each other’s space and work, so collaborative, and so proud to create public murals for their camp.
The process culminated when each group of young artists held a special on-site mural dedication with their entire aidah. This was an opportunity to reflect and share highlights from the experience, take pictures, and get recognized for leaving a beautiful imprint at camp.
Many thanks to each and every enthusiastic and inspiring mural painter, the maintenance team, the art staff, Gal Atia, Scott Rosen, Rashei Aidah, and everybody who supported and helped our project this year.