Local artist Adam Podber combined creative minds with Intown Chabad Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman for the first ever “confluence: Art and Photography Exhibition.” Literally “the flowing together of factors and ideas,” confluence is a collaboration between Podber and the rabbi’s daughter, photographer Shelbelle Schusterman-Lapidus. It showcases their young and personal collections as they explore Judaism and Israel using modern methods for original art and photography, premiering at Chabad Intown.
The exhibition will be free and open to the public with an opening reception Sept. 15 and viewing through Nov. 30.
Schusterman-Lapidus’ original photography will consist of 12 pieces (selected out of a set of 6,000) for sale and others for visual enjoyment. Israel-based, she said,
“My photos highlight major themes within Judaism, such as prayer, education and reflection. In one, there is a father in traditional garb with his sons looking as if he is in deep conversation with one, while the other is staring off into the distance.
“They are at the top of a hill with a view of mountains. At the bottom of the hill is the final resting place of the Holy Kabbalist (the Arizal) along with the Arizal Mikvah that hundreds frequent weekly. I imagine he is telling his sons teachings of the Holy Arizal.”
The photos are mostly color with a few in black and white, with street scenes, Jewish objects, and scenery of the Galilee.
Tzfat is a colorful place, she said. The streets are lined with the kabbalistic blue color, the foliage is always at a high saturation of color. People come from different places with “colorful” backgrounds and personalities.
Schusterman-Lapidus said of her subjects, “Everything is telling a story, either loudly or quietly, in an external or internal dimension. It’s a matter of slowing down and looking carefully. A lot of my photos have one subject in [them], such as a person or an object that is framed by a scene in which they appear to feel at home. One photo has a carelessly folded tallis, strewn onto a table in a room that is in an abandoned apartment in the center of Tzfat. The walls are crumbling and heavily graffitied. It looks as if this is someone’s room of prayer. They might frequent this quiet abandoned space where they can speak to G-d undisturbed.”
Podber’s Graphic Creativity
Podber is making waves in Atlanta with his hip colorful murals and large-scale projects – some along the Atlanta BeltLine and at the Roxy Theatre at SunTrust Park. Podber’s story comes from a passionate place where he was diagnosed as a young boy with lymphoma, which propelled him into a career of art and paying it forward to help others through art therapy. Podber, who attended The Epstein School, Woodward Academy, and The Weber School, was a volunteer at Camp Sunshine (for children with cancer).
All of Podber’s works at “confluence” are for sale. “I wanted to create a body of contemporary work based around ethics and how to treat others, as well as ourselves. For this show, I wanted to create work that can be used as a daily reminder of how to act as a human. I explore stylized Hebrew text, specifically words and phrases, an ancient language with a modern aesthetic.” Podber has a strong interest in Hebrew letters. He finds it interesting that the ancient language is still used today. Since he read Hebrew as a boy, he found each letter to have beauty.
Podber’s works range from 12-by-12 inches to 60-by-60 inches. He has an industrial design bachelor of fine arts degree from SCAD and focuses on the design process and physical skills when creating art. “I build all my canvases by hand, stretch my own canvas and strive to create pristine high-quality work.” All pieces are hung. The mediums he employs are acrylic paint, spray paint and resin and he will use custom neon for the show.
Looking back, Podber said, “I approached Rabbi Schusterman about his ideas on modern art, the intrigue of contemporary Jewish art, and my interest in a new direction of studio work. Rabbi Schusterman came up with the idea to showcase this new body of work in conjunction with high-quality photography. We invite all to come visit the exhibit.”
Prices range from $50 to over $1,000.