Spotlight: Kishroniyah Outdoor Mural and Artists’ Statement
Tova Speter submitted this Artists’ Statement about our Kishroniyah Outdoor Mural Project.
Kishroniyah Mural 2018
Artists: Tova Speter (visiting Kishroniyah artist – see bio below) and chanichim mural creators
We chose to create this mural utilizing the stylistic blue stripes of the Israeli flag with the Jerusalem skyline on the bottom and the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and our Agam coming together on the top. Swirling in the waters are the words to some of our favorite Hebrew songs about Israel.
The center Magen David of the flag is replaced with a large eye, echoing the traditional Jewish Hamsa to ward off evil spirits; as this year‘s theme is “Ayin L’Tzion” – meaning an eye towards Zion. The pupil is replaced with our right handprints, in varying shades of blue representing various shades of spirituality; and reminding viewers of the iconic saying “Im Eschachech Yerushalyim, Tiscach Yemini,” which translates to “if I forget the Jerusalem may I forget my right hand.” The center also contains a Hamsa shape in white that is made up of the Hebrew words “Am Sheli” to represent our personal connections to Israel and our people. The pupil is bordered with the words of the Hatikva – Israel’s national anthem. The white of the eye houses the bricks of the Kotel, each containing unique patterns, designs, and words further representing individual artists’ personal connections to Israel. The eye is then surrounded by a rainbow border, reflecting the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of Eretz Yisrael.
Across the sky an airplane brings music notes in its path representing the Israeli songs we sing at Machane Ramah. To the right, the sun rises over the Negev desert, reminding us of both the Shir Ramah lyric “Tov Lirot Hashemesh,” and of special sunrises in places like Masada. To the left, a Ramah navigation pole stands with accurate directions and distances to major Israeli cities (in kilometers) as well as American cities (in miles) from which many of our Ramah chanichim come.
The motif of the olive branches border the mural on both sides representing the state seal of Israel and the constant wish for Shalom, peace. The left olive branch also contains our Edot names. We chose to hide the IDF symbol (in the Negev), the Ramah Israel logo (in the green hills), and the Jewish agency logo (in the plane) to acknowledge our further connections to Israel through our experiences and the experiences of our Mishlachat who are a big part of camp.
We hope our 2018 Kishroniyah mural highlights the spirit of “Ayin L’Tzion” and how we feel strongly connected to Israel both as part of Camp Ramah and as individuals.
Tova Speter is an artist, art therapist, art educator, and arts consultant based in Newton, MA. She specializes in working with adolescents, and has more than fifteen years of experience leading community mural projects in the greater Boston area and internationally in Argentina, China, Panama, and Israel. Find out more about Tova’s work (and see pics from past Ramah collaborations) at: www.tovaspeter.com. Tova also has a private practice offering art therapy and mental health counseling services; works as a consultant with congregations interested in exploring innovative ways to infuse more arts-based experiences into their programming; and is the founder and director of The MEM Project, a Boston-based venture that engages individuals through the artistic process as a means to explore Jewish identity and encourage connection with under-served communities through collaborative mural projects. Find out more about The MEM Project at www.thememproject.org.