Art is for Everyone – Sketching Workshops at the JMM

Posted on September 26th, 2016 by

As a former arts-and-crafts camp counselor, and someone who takes art classes for fun, I’m really excited about our new sketching workshops.  Earlier this summer we hosted artists both inside and outside the Lloyd Street Synagogue, and in November we’ll bring people into B’nai Israel for the chance to draw the sanctuary.

Rabbi Mintz and his family at our plein air [link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_plein_air] workshop in July.

Rabbi Mintz and his family at our plein air workshop in July.

Participants drawing the inside of the Lloyd Street Synagogue in August.

Participants drawing the inside of the Lloyd Street Synagogue in August.

Last night’s program focused on our collections, so I not only had the fun of participating, I also had the pleasure of choosing a variety of artifacts to create a challenging still life.  This required a lot of over-thinking on my part – after all, we have over 11,000 objects to choose from! – and not everything made the cut this time, but it came together into a nice display, with an assortment on one pedestal and a single item – a Russian samovar, which was one of the first things that came to my mind when this program was first mentioned – on another.

Claire Tesh, her daughter Lena, and facilitator Matt Adelberg discuss technique.

Claire Tesh, her daughter Lena, and facilitator Matt Adelberg discuss technique.

Doesn’t my still life look nice? I know you all wish you had the chance to draw that fantastic hat.

Doesn’t my still life look nice? I know you all wish you had the chance to draw that fantastic hat.

Thanks to our wonderful workshop facilitators, Matt Adelberg and Christen Chiori, JMM staff have had the chance to relax and participate, taking some time to really look at and enjoy our buildings and collections.

Facilitator Christen Chiosi works with three of our summer interns in the Lloyd Street Synagogue during the August workshop.

Facilitator Christen Chiosi works with three of our summer interns in the Lloyd Street Synagogue during the August workshop.

Tracie Guy-Decker took a few minutes to join the artists inside the Synagogue in August.

Tracie Guy-Decker took a few minutes to join the artists inside the Synagogue in August.

At yesterday’s workshop I attempted to draw my challenging still life, and it was challenging… but my samovar came out much better.  Gift of Hadassah Greater Baltimore. JMM 1979.34.1

At yesterday’s workshop I attempted to draw my challenging still life, and it was challenging… but my samovar came out much better. Gift of Hadassah Greater Baltimore. JMM 1979.34.1

We welcome artists of all ages at these events, as the young ladies below attest. After all, our collections – from small wooden blocks to the buildings themselves – are held in the public trust, for research and study as well as preservation and exhibition. Whether you have mad skills with a pencil or just want to give it a try, we hope you take these opportunities to closely examine, with an artist’s eye, our fabulous pieces of history.

Two young artists and their work.

Two young artists and their work.

Next workshop: Sketching inside B’nai Israel – Sunday, November 6th at 10:30 a.m. 

JoannaA blog post by Collections Manager Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.

 

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JMM Insights: The Great Chicken Soup Cook Off

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 by

As you read this, The JMM is preparing for our first Great Chicken Soup Cook Off.  We are in search of Maryland’s best chicken soup. We’ve invited   aspiring chefs–from newbies to bubbies–to show us their culinary skills in a bid to receive the coveted title of Maryland’s Chicken Soup Champion.

The cook off tasting will take place at the JMM on Sunday, October 9th from 1 to 3pm. It is inspired by our current exhibit Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America, and a certain televised baking contest. We have held various food related programs over the years at the JMM (including the ever- popular Gefiltefest, a gefilte fish cook-off), and we’re aiming to continue this successful tradition.

The Soups

The competition has been divided into three categories: Traditional, Alternative and Free From. Unsurprisingly the traditional category filled up quickly with eager participants. We are looking forward to trying a variety of traditional chicken soups including Grandma Esther’s Golden Delicious Soup and Beverly’s Bewitching Soup.

Entries in the Alternative category also sound really tasty.  They   include a Chicken Soup Maryland Style (don’t worry this doesn’t include any crabmeat) and a Lemongrass Chicken Soup. In the Free From category we are looking forward to trying a No Chicken “Chicken Soup”.

For those of you who think you’ve got what it takes to win the coveted prize,  there are still spaces available in the Free From and Alternative categories, so enter here TODAY!

The Awards

Trophies & More!

Trophies & More!

Participants are eligible for a variety of awards beyond the overall Chicken Soup Champion. Prizes will be awarded for the best soup in each category, plus an under 16 award, director’s choice and the all-important people’s choice award.

The Tasting Judges

We need you!

We need you!

Our team of tasting judges all work in the Baltimore metropolitan area. We will be joined by Tom Lovejoy, executive chef at Eddie’s of Roland Park, Mark Davis from Michael’s Café and Sam Gallant of WTMD. However we need your help!  For the people’s choice we need you to taste test all of the yummy soups, then vote for your favorite. This is a great opportunity to help choose the Chicken Soup Champion, and you get to taste lots of delicious soups.

 Everything Else

The soups will be the stars of the day but there is plenty more to do while you are at JMM after you have cast your vote. In addition to visiting our exhibits and historic synagogues, we have lots of chicken soup inspired activities. This includes chef demonstrations of their own twists on this classic dish, hopefully inspiring you to try at home.  Plus, to help in your future culinary endeavors, a chance to plant your own herb garden, specially designed for making chicken soup! We’re even planning a special kids craft project to decorate their own special chicken soup bowl to take home.

The cook off is certain to be a great day for the whole family so buy your tickets here!

~Trillion Attwood, Programs Manager

P.S. If you can’t attend, you can recreate the day at home! We will be making all of the recipes available online after the event with the help of Beyond Bubbie. We’ll also share our specially created playlist on Spotify, featuring all of the greatest chicken inspired songs. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more details.

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A Trip to the Scrap Yard

Posted on September 21st, 2016 by

The Jewish Museum of Maryland’s newest original exhibition project, American Alchemy: From Junk to Scrap to Recycling officially launched its second phase of development with a convening of our project team, including new project curator, Jill Vexler, and our designers from Alchemy Studios. The exhibition which explores the history of Jewish involvement in the scrap industry also will reflect the experiences of non-Jews and covers a wide swath of history from the 18th-21st centuries. We are currently in the process of collecting stories and artifacts that reflect the unique nature of these businesses, many of which have remained in the same families for generations.

As you can see from this map, the scrap industry has a large national presence and our exhibit team is conducting research in many other cities beyond Baltimore.

As you can see from this map, the scrap industry has a large national presence and our exhibit team is conducting research in many other cities beyond Baltimore.

What better way to inspire our team than a visit to a local scrap yard so we could get a first-hand look at the materials, technology and human capital that are necessary in order to transform one person’s junk into another person’s treasure. So we drove to south Baltimore to visit David Simon at Baltimore Scrap Corp. David regaled us with stories of life in the scrap industry and described the evolution of his family’s business which got its start in 1916.

The highlight of our visit was a guided tour of the yard where we saw huge mounds of metal object castaways and flattened cars that were awaiting their turn in the gigantic shredder (sadly, we could not see the shredder in action as it is used during night hours in order to save electricity costs).

The highlight of our visit was a guided tour of the yard where we saw huge mounds of metal object castaways and flattened cars that were awaiting their turn in the gigantic shredder (sadly, we could not see the shredder in action as it is used during night hours in order to save electricity costs).

We were all impressed by the sheer scale of materials that were piled high in mounds, not to mention the speed at which materials are completely transformed into reusable parts. We all left feeling energized and excited about our work on this project.

Baltimore Scrap Corp.

Baltimore Scrap Corp.

The project also got an important boost with news we received last week that the exhibit was the recipient of a highly competitive federal grant award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. American Alchemy opens at the JMM in Fall 2018.

deborahA blog post by Deputy Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.

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