Founding members of the Texas Jewish Arts Association are, from left, Veronique Jonas, Jan Ayers Friedman, Julie Meetal Berman, Nan Phillips and Nancy Israel. | Photo: Susan Kandell
Texas Jewish Arts Association: a New (Texas) State-of-the-Art Group in Formation
Last May (2013), the Dallas Jewish Historical Society organized an evening called in the “Eye of the Beholder.” Following a brief lecture about the nature of Jewish art presented by Nancy Cohen Israel, 19 local Jewish artists exhibited their remarkable work. The event attracted more than 200 people and, by all accounts, was deemed a huge success!
Small groups present at that gathering have been working to capitalize on the energy of that evening and organized a group called the Texas Jewish Art Association. Open to both visual artists and those who work in the art world, its goal is to foster a sense of camaraderie through informational and educational gatherings and exhibition opportunities.
Much thought has been given to formulating an organization such this.
TJAA is the inaugural Jewish fine arts organization in Texas. TJAA was based on the premise that throughout Jewish history, Jews have moved and adapted, but their core is immutable. The Jewish people have always survived and have accomplished substantial goals by being flexible. On that evening last year, they joyfully rediscovered that although they were all different, and work in vastly different ways, they were one people after all, but with a single center.
In January of this year, the organization had its first meeting, assembling 25 like-minded artists and others in the field. The enthusiasm and excitement in the room was palpable. Serving as their spokeswoman, Nancy Israel outlined how the idea originated and delineated their vision.
The TJAA already has its first exhibition planned and arrangements are underway with the Aaron Family JCC to host the exhibit in the fall.
Photos from the first meeting in January 2014 of the TJAA are below.