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New Gallery Show at Jewish Women's Theatre by Artists and Psychologists Explores Complexities of the Human Mind

New Gallery Show at Jewish Women's Theatre by Artists and Psychologists Explores Complexities of the Human Mind

Art imitates life as both search for ways to process and express feelings. A new art show opening January 18 at The Gallery@The Braid, Jewish Women's Theatre's (JWT) art and performance space, showcases the paintings, photography and sculpture of eight accomplished artists, seven of whom are also psychotherapists.

The gallery exhibition, which complements Mapping of the Mind, JWT's first salon show of the season which opens the same night, provides an intriguing window into the unconscious as each local artist uses their own medium to explore and reveal the complexities of the human mind.

The art talk featuring many of the artists and a welcome reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. on January 18 at The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave. #102 in Santa Monica. There is no charge for the gallery show and art talk, but tickets must be purchased for the performance of Mapping of the Mind. Visit www.jewishwomenstheatre.org for additional information and to purchase performance tickets. Additional art talks will precede performances on Monday, January 27 and Tuesday, January 28 at 6:30 p.m.

"It is fascinating that seven of our eight artists are psychotherapists. This exhibit gives viewers a chance to observe their insights through the creation of artwork. I think and hope the extraordinary works in this show will educate, inspire and create an opportunity for empathy and shared humanity," said gallery director Marilee Tolwin.

Exhibiting artists include: Psychotherapist/painter Ariel Cohen; psychologist/psychoanalyst/ photographer Robin Cohen; artist/poet Julie Chafers Grass, who also has a story in Mapping of the Mind; psychotherapist/painter Douglas Green; licensed marriage family therapist/multi-media artist Lynda Levy; psychologist/psychoanalyst/painter Stuart Perlman; therapist Sandy Savett; and psychotherapist/filmmaker/sculptor and Ilana Simons.

Exhibiting artist Simons further explains the theme of the gallery show saying, "Art and therapy are similar in that both move us out of the ordinary description of things. Strong therapy, I think, helps people know the creative control they have in forming the narrative of who they are."

More about the artists:

Ariel Cohen is a painter and psychotherapist who lives in North Hollywood and frequently exhibits in the Los Angeles area. He explains his work, saying, "As a painter and psychotherapist, I observe the world around me and seek inspiration from it. My training in psychology has taught me that the flexibility and openness to new experiences are essential for keeping a sharp and healthy mind. I apply this same philosophy to my art discipline."

Robin S. Cohen is a Los Angeles psychologist/psychoanalyst/photographer who specializes in the fusion of photography and art. Her work has been shown in Spain, Paris and California and can be seen in her book Mirrors of the Mind. She says, "I play with the always permeable boundary between conscious and unconscious experience, between dreams and waking life. Life is enriched when we allow the vivid colors and heightened moods of fantasy and emotion to color and expand our everyday experience."

Julie Chafers Grass is a poet who has published in several literary journals including Northwest Review, PoemMemoirStory, 88 and Plainsongs. She reads her poetry at salons, bookstores and other venues throughout Los Angeles. Her book, The Queen of MORE, contains her poems and original artwork. She says she has six brightly painted mannequin feet walking across her kitchen ceiling and she has a gorilla suit in her front closet. She confesses that she "keeps Tootsie Rolls and M & M's in her nightstand, but only eats them in the dark."

Douglas Green is a psychotherapist practicing in West Los Angeles and Woodland Hills. He is also a director and author of numerous works for film and theater and runs the website AskShirelle.com that gives advice from the perspective of a friendly dog, who recently died and who is the subject of the painting he is exhibiting. He explains, "The experience of devastating loss reprograms the brain, or perhaps even redefines it... I chose to illustrate this loss using images of that dog.

Lynda Levy, a licensed marriage family therapist, has exhibited her art in galleries throughout Los Angeles. She says, "I have always carried a strong visual aesthetic from observing people and places to a curiosity that initially took a path toward photography... Over the past several years, my visual aesthetic segued into the art of montage or mixed media... My work is often defined as layered, with a psychological and graphic aesthetic often reflecting upon an inner space between realism and abstract."

Stuart Perlman Ph. D. has been a psychologist and psychoanalyst in West Los Angeles for over 40 years. His new book, Struggle in Paradise, is about homeless individuals, featuring moving oil-on-canvas portraits. He won the 2016 L.A. County Psychological Association's Social Justice Award. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors gave him an award in 2017 for his work on behalf of homeless people, and his documentary, Struggle in Paradise, won the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis' Best Movie of the Year Award.

Sandy Savett was born in Toronto, Canada. She came to L.A. after junior college and enrolled at USC. Twenty years later, married and with children, she earned an M.A. in psychology. She was a therapist for over 20 years, working with abused children and dysfunctional families. She now draws and paints, and sometimes writes.

Ilana Simons is a psychotherapist and filmmaker. She says, "I make short films in which I play with costumes and reinvention: I become an alter-ego, a wild animal, a politician in distant cosmos. Working on my videos is an invitation to work in various media, to make dreamscapes and props... Each art material presents a new challenge and also a wide-open playground, a place to do what you have not done before, to widen the experiment of making. The masks/headgear I have in this show were built after a breakup when I felt a bit dead to myself and wanted to make costumes for escape.

The art talk featuring many of the artists and a welcome reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. on January 18 at The Braid, 2912 Colorado Ave. #102 in Santa Monica. There is no charge for the gallery show and art talk, but tickets must be purchased for the performance of Mapping of the Mind. Visit www.jewishwomenstheatre.org for additional information and to purchase performance tickets. Additional art talks will precede performances on Monday, January 27 and Tuesday, January 28 at 6:30 p.m.

JWT's The Braid, voted one of the "Best Live Theatres on the Westside" three years in a row by The Argonaut, stages original dramatic performances, contemporary art exhibits, classes, and other events showcasing the diverse community of writers, artists and creators who celebrate Jewish life, one story at a time.



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