by Lilach Schrag, Artist-in-Residence
In honor of the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence and of the founding of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, and in reference to the 70 “faces” of the Torah, campers, staff and family members set a goal to paint 70 individual portraits to create a large mural celebrating our community.
We started our collaborative project by reviewing seminal portraits throughout the ages, from da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to works by van Gogh, Picasso, Kahlo, Dali, Warhol, and Bourgeois, as well as recent pieces by Kusama and Shimoni.
We painted portraits, most of them self-portraits, in diverse styles, using Latex paint and ink on canvas. While painting, we reflected on being part of the camp community, then added words, quotes and original expressions to complement the work.
This colorful array of portraits and texts was assembled into a large masterpiece measuring 12 feet by 5 feet that is on display at the entrance to the Beit Am. The mural attracts campers who share stories about the painting process, try to recognize people in the portraits, or comment on their favorite piece.
Many thanks to each and every enthusiastic and inspiring mural painter and everybody who contributed to this collaborative interactive initiative that beautifies camp.