4 Mar 2010

Two Israeli Artists, Two Worlds of Arts (4)

Posted by Moshe Mikanovsky

This week I interviewed two Israeli artists who live in Toronto for many years now. Painter Miriam Miki Sion, and  beads and wire artist Rikki Blitt. Following is the English version of the article. You can also check the PDF version of the English and Hebrew articles as published in Shalom Toronto, as well as download the entire paper from Shalom Toronto’s site

Two Israeli Artists, Two Worlds of Art (Part 4)
By Moshe Mikanovsky
Shalom Toronto, March 4, 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.  

Artist Miriam Sion, who is also known to her friends and family as Miki, a name she also uses to sign her paintings, is an Israeli native, who 40 years ago arrived to Canada with her family “for 4 years only”, and like many of us, these stretched to many more. An accountant by profession, Miki started painting back in Israel, and never stopped. She attended courses in many art schools and with some of the best artists in Toronto. 

When Miki moved to Canada, she was astounded by the extreme seasonal changes, especially during autumn, with its vibrant array of red, orange and yellow hues of the foliage. These colours and the effect of the sun on them, influences Miki’s work throughout the years. This can be seen in the way she treats her subject matter, mostly images from her travels around the world. Orange and yellow are dominating her Venice paintings series, reflecting the warm dusk sun on the elegant walls, canal water and gondolas. Her Prague roof tops, rendered in clean pop-art lines and shapes, and a busy cubist design, emphasize a broad range of warm oranges, reflecting the warm sun, with blue highlights to cool down the shadows.  

Miki Sion with her Venice paintings collection at the Galleria Adonis in Woodbridge

Miki Sion with her Venice paintings collection at the Galleria Adonis in Woodbridge

Miki Sion, Roofs of Prague, 22’’x28’’, Acrylic on canvas

Miki Sion, Roofs of Prague, 22’’x28’’, Acrylic on canvas

Miki is active in many artist groups in the GTA, amongst them Richmond Hill Group of Artists, with whom she participated in its yearly juried shows since 1995, Bayview Watercolour Society, in which she showed and awarded prizes for her artwork, and of course, the Israeli Artists Group of Greater Toronto, of which she served as president in 2007-2008. 

Being a member since 1998, I asked Miki how it influences her:  “Most of my friends are Israelis and the general feeling is that we are Israelis living in Toronto, feeling and breathing Israeli culture in our daily lives. Belonging to the group was a natural reaction to this connection, and to staying in touch with Israel.” 

Rikki Blitt, another one of our community artists, has been in Canada for almost 50 years. Born in the former soviet union post World War II, Rikki moved to Israel in 1950, and then to Canada in her teens. Now in her retirement, Rikki immerses herself in a new found love – designing and creating three dimensions decorative and practical objects from beads and wire. She remembers herself always doing some type of creative work: knitting, embroidery, macramé and weaving. In recent years, her collection focuses on Jewelry and Judaica objects such as Mezuzot and beaded wire Kipot. 

Rikki is fascinated by the process of creation:

“What inspires me is using diverse materials, colours and techniques to create objects which didn’t exist before – a necklace emerges out of a mess of beads and thread, a bracelet comes out of a package of rings.”   
Rikki Blitt, Chain mail bracelet, sterling silver

Rikki Blitt, Chain mail bracelet, sterling silver

In addition to her involvement with the Israeli Artists Group, Rikki is very active in the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Textiles, Toronto (http://pomegranateguild.ca), where she is currently the President of the Guild. The Guild unites artisans who are interested in textile art and needlework based on Judaic themes. Together they created several projects which were donated to the community, mostly to Baycrest. Over the years Rikki learned a great deal from its members and guest presenters.   She was also involved in the mounting of an exhibition of the 

Guild members’ work in 2007 (in the Koffler gallery), in coordinating the Mezuzot Exhibit (in Baycrest) in 2009, and is currently working on a future exhibit of Tzedakah boxes (also in Baycrest). The beautiful Mezuzot exhibit can be seen on the Guild’s website (under Members’ Work). 


Rikki Blitt, Mezuzot, beads and Swarovski crystals

Rikki Blitt, Mezuzot, beads and Swarovski crystals

Miki’s paintings can be viewed and purchased in her studio by appointment. Please contact Miki by email at msion@rogers.com

Rikki’s jewelry can be purchased at Made You Look a jewelry store on Queen St. W (http://madeyoulook.ca/). She will participate in the group show “Tzedakah – The Beauty Outside the Box, in Memory of Beverley Colman Lokash” at Baycrest, starting September 1st, 2010.  Rikki also takes commissions for jewelry, mezuzot and beaded wire kippot. To contact her please email to rikki_blitt@yahoo.ca.   

Both Miki and Rikki 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 (moshe@mikanovsky.com, www.mikanovsky.com) 

Artists Interview, Hebrew

Artists Interview, Hebrew

Artists Interview, English

Artists Interview, English

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2 Responses to “Two Israeli Artists, Two Worlds of Arts (4)”

  1. great work.s.



  2. Do you photograph you works yourself or you go to a professional? I do mine in my studio at home, but always was curious about using professional service. Love to hear back any suggestions.



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