Are you looking in Memphis for fine art Judaic pieces for an anniversary, wedding, Chanukah, or bat/bar mitzvah gift? We feature works by Jewish artists, including menorahs, mezuzot, and wedding glass.
Will Grant was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Palm Springs, California. He studied ceramics in high school and then furthered his education while attending College of the Desert in Palm Springs.
In 1990, Grant accepted an invitation to work in a small village in Taiwan where he was introduced to the art of making furniture out of acrylic and fell in love with the material. After spending two years in Taiwan, he became a partner of the company and decided to move the manufacturing back to Palm Springs.
In 2000, Grant opened his own acrylic furniture company in Sarasota, Florida. As he continued to make furniture, he soon discovered that he could take remnants of acrylic and create art forms in sculpture. These mini masterpieces caught the eye of some key executives from the commercial world. Grant started to create centerpieces for Walt Disney’s corporate parties and displays for various companies such as Burberry and David Yurman Jewelry. In 2005, Grant was introduced to Israeli artist, Yaacov Agam, and he was instantly inspired by the movement of his pieces.
Since then, Grant has primarily spent his time creating art sculpture forms. Grant’s artwork has been featured in many art galleries around the world. Recently, he started incorporating glass, metal and wood into his acrylic sculptures. He says, “I am constantly inspired by what is around me, and I rush to my studio every morning to see what new techniques I can discover. My imagination creates endless goals and challenges and the biggest reward is hearing, “I just love your work, I have never seen anything like it!”
Artist Fay Miller’s desire to create beautiful things with her own two hands motivated her to leave a graphic arts career to work with glass. Intrigued by the reflective sheen of glass, Miller’s work tends to be surface oriented, decorative and undisciplined. She delights in the random beauty of the glass shards and the joy and ritual they represent.
Her exhibits include Art of the Spirit, Craft Alliance Menorah Show, Boulder Arts and Craft Cooperative Judaica Show, Art of Our Time, Festival of Jewish Artisans, Orange County Museum of Art Craft Show, Awakenings VIII, Kremen Gallery Celebration and various other shows. The work is shown at galleries across the United States, England and Canada.
Miller has designed awards for Amnesty International, LA Weekly, The Lee Strasberg Institute, The City of West Hollywood, ACLU, The American Jewish Committee, The Shofar, The Klein Chaplaincy, United Jewish Fund, The Jewish Federation and other charitable and corporate organizations. Special commissions include dining tables, side tables, a glass wall for Temple Ner Tamid in Palos Verdes, CA and an eternal light for Temple Sinai in Rancho Mirage, CA.
She attended Moore College of Art, Queen’s College and Westchester School of Fine Arts.
A Birthright trip that changed Joy’s life. While in Israel, she was captivated by the landscape, culture and history. When Joy returned home, she felt a stronger connection to Israel, my culture and my identity as an artist. This journey profoundly changed her perspective and led her to discover her true passion.
Joy attended Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania where she received her BFA in Metals. She has continued her education with summer workshops at Penland School of Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Joy shares that she has also been influenced by her father, a talented fine jewelry designer, who has mentored her in design, craftsmanship and business.
Wilbat’s glass is distinguished by his fusion of abstract design and playful use of color. By merging ancient glassblowing techniques with his modern eye for design, he creates glass that unites tradition and innovation. His color and composition are highly influenced by his love for Abstract Expressionist painting. Wilbat’s style has evolved over time, drawing upon his background in ceramics and experience in both drawing and painting. Wilbat had the opportunity to study under talented glassblowers, including Joel Myers, Dan Dailey, William Carlson, and Vernon Brejcha. While all of these masters influenced his development as an artist, Wilbat’s own style can be described as whimsical, yet functional.
As early as age ten, James Wilbat’s creativity was sparked when he began studying drawing and watercolor. His passion for art continued at Illinois State University, where he studied ceramics and received a Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts in 1977. While his focus during his undergraduate education was ceramics, he was introduced to glassblowing during his senior year. This discovery was the catalyst for Wilbat’s career; from this point on he was dedicated to learning about this challenging and unusual medium. In order to master this new craft, Wilbat studied at the University of Kansas, earning a Master of Fine Art degree in Design in 1980. Since graduating, Wilbat has continued to develop his personal style and manage his own glass business. Some of the highlights of his career are having his work in the Rockford Art Museum, winning awards at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, and sitting on the jury of prestigious art shows.
Ashville, North Carolina
Alicia is a second generation glass artists. Her classical training in architecture integrates her art with the decorative design of the living space. The years of drafting emerge in art forms of geometrical shapes, texture of materials and pure lines. She then sets these into decorative art for walls and murals, sculpture and home décor pieces as well as a complete line of Judaic Art. For commissioned work, the trick lies in knowing how to handle small and large scale formats.
Alicia’s artwork has been exhibited in: Venezuela, Japan, United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland and The United States. Plus, it appears to this day in The White House, Denmark’s Permanent Collection Glass Museum, Juan Pablo II Cathedral, etc.
It’s also a compliment to her hard-earned success that many well-known individuals own her work including international dignitaries such as The King of Spain and The King of Jordan plus top performers in the entertainment industry, to name a few: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Whoopi Golberg and Gerald Cafesjian.
New York, New York
Seeka originated in 1997 from the love story of two Israeli artists colliding in New York. In their home studio, while raising a young family, Nachshon Peleg and Stavit Allweis launched Seeka. To the age old craft of Judaica, Nachshon brought advanced technological solution while Stavit infused traditional symbols with playful strokes of color and liberal use of found objects.
The artists start with a precision cut stainless steel frame. Within this frame, the design is hand painted with acrylics, metallic and other paints. A variety of materials from metals and glass to dyed seeds and found objects are assembled within. Semi-precious stones, and Swarovski crystals are embedded and a thick layer of acrylic resin is poured to encase and protect the finished piece. Finally, after several days of curing, the piece is polished, twisted, glued and assembled with other items to form the finished work of art.
Luis’ handmade iron and bead candle holders seek to convey playful and romantic designs. His desire is to offer collectors an unique piece while providing high-end quality. The base of the candleholder is sand cast iron. Stems are hammered and shaped inch by inch. His forged iron cup crowns the piece and awaits the glow of the candle. Bees wax candles are provided with each candle holder.
Since 1986, Mary DeMarco along with husband, Buddy Wolfe, has been handcrafting the La Contessa line of nature-inspired, pewter jewelry and gifts. Mary draws her inspiration from her Italian heritage (la contessa means “the countess” in Italian); her love of antiques and anything vintage; her travels abroad; and time spent in her garden.
After graduating from Towson State University in Baltimore with a degree in fine arts and studying in Florence, Italy, Mary started her business. “We are a family owned business,” said Mary. “Our college-age children, Maria, Elle, and Marc, often help with setting up and sales at national art shows.
St. Peter’s, Pennsylvania
Candace began her career as an artist after graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology with a Fine Arts degree. While she had majored in printmaking, she became engaged in the art of glassblowing through her husband, Joel Bless. Candace finds the colors achievable in the medium of glass truly inspirational. She went on to design the form and color composition of many of the pieces Glasslight produces. Candace also developed and pioneered Glasslight’s line of fused glass work which range from custom tiles and bowls to large table tops. In addition to her artistic contributions, she has also been chiefly responsible for running the company’s back office and operations. With her positivity and kind disposition, Candace keeps Glasslight running smoothly.