18 Feb 2010
Two Israeli Artists, Two Worlds of Arts (2)
Few weeks ago Shalom Toronto started publishing my articles about the artists of the Israeli Artists Group of Greater Toronto. The first article was about two painters, Suzy Philippsohn and Myriam Levy.
This week I interviewed two artists who mainly work in 3 dimension materials – ceramic sculpture artist Irit Lepkin and Jewelry artist Inna Gorshtein. Here is the English version of the article. You can also check the PDF version of the Hebrew articles, as well as download the entire paper from Shalom Toronto’s site.
Two Israeli Artists, Two Worlds of Art
By Moshe Mikanovsky
Shalom Toronto, February 18, 2010
The Israeli Artists Group of Greater Toronto brings together Israeli artists in different disciplines of visual arts, to work, socialize and enhance the Israeli and Jewish culture in Toronto. In this series of articles, we will open a window to some of our artists who live and work in our midst.
This week I had the opportunity to interview two artists who mainly work in 3 dimension materials. First, one of the founding members of the group, award winning ceramic sculpture and photography artist Irit Lepkin. And second, a more recent addition to the group, Jewelry artist Inna Gorshtein.
Irit was born in Israel to an artistic family. Her father is one of the first graduates from Bezalel art school in Jerusalem and is a well-known artist in Israel. A Fine Arts under-graduate from Haifa University, Irit moved to Canada in 1981 with her husband and two children, where she continued her art studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design, and later opened her studio in Toronto. Participating in many art shows featured at the Gardiner Museum, Burlington Art Centre and Visual Arts Ontario, Irit’s work has also been published in books and magazines. She has won several awards, grants and scholarships
Irit’s ceramic sculptures are inspired by organic forms found in nature, and have many political connotations involving social issues. Much of her inspiration comes from her photography and her personal background. She often incorporates mixed media such as rusted metal or barbed wire in order to juxtapose the harshness of reality with the softness of clay. Her piece entitled ‘Shattered Dreams’ is an example of this kind of work. Some of her recent work includes sculptural shoes made in clay and mixed media.
Irit is active in the community through her involvement with the Israeli Women Division of the UJA, several ceramic associations in Toronto, and the Israeli Artists Group. Being one of its founding members in 1992, and served as President in 2006, Irit is proud and excited that the group not only lasted for that long, but is thriving with many new members and activities planned for the future.
The second artist works in very different materials, but her Jewelry pieces are miniature sculptures, ready to be wear and adore any woman’s neck or ear. Inna Gorshtein is a self taught jewelry artist. Born in Ukraine, Inna moved to Israel in 1991, and then to Toronto in 1999. Inna’s one of a kind jewelry is made of quality gemstones, Swarovski crystals, pearls, lamp work glass, sterling silver, copper and leather. Her elegant designs feature many curvy and round shapes, swirls and wire wrapped circles, dotted with colorful centerpiece gems, a very feminine and lavish addition to any jewelry lover’s collection.
Her international background influences Inna’s work, bringing her clients designs that are both elegant and has some oriental hints. In her own words: “I am always inspired by Israeli jewelry artists. I own many jewelry pieces from Israel which influences my own designs. I incorporate a lot of Judaic elements in my jewelry.”
With a full day job in technology, Inna’s plan is to become a full time artist, creating and developing her designs which she is very passionate about. Starting to work into that direction, she utilizes the power of Internet online marketing, and has created an online shop on Etsy, one of the major online marketplaces for artisans. Her clients come from near and far, virtually from all over the world. In addition, Inna sells her collection at few stores around the GTA, as well as in art and craft shows.
Irit Lepkin’s recent work can be seen in the Distillery District Dish Gallery. She was recently invited to participate in a show with six ceramic artists from across Canada; the show is at Burlington Art Centre starting in February for 3 months.
For more information you can e-mail her: email@example.com. Her website is under construction and will be completed shortly.
Inna’s collection can be viewed and purchased via her website and Etsy store, at www.ingojewelry.com. Visit her blog for monthly jewelry giveaway http://ingojewelry.blogspot.com. For commissioned work or special requests, she can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 416 803 7131
Both Irit and Inna will be participating in the Israeli Artists Group show in May 15-18 at the MacDonald House, 121 Centre Street, Thornhill.
Moshe Mikanovsky is a member of the Israeli Artists Group of Greater Toronto (email@example.com, www.mikanovsky.com)