CSP One Month Artist in Residence Series

Dedicated in Memory of Sharon Chase


Featuring renowned American Painter and Sculptor

Tobi Kahn

May 1, 2022- May 31, 2022
Live on Zoom from New York City, NY

This program is fully funded by a grant from:
The Albert and Rhoda Weissman Arts Endowment Fund, a joint program of Jewish Community Foundation Orange County and Jewish Federation.

CSP Partners: Beth Israel (San Diego, CA), Brotherhood Synagogue (Gramercy Park, NYC), Congregation Adath Jeshurun (Elkins Park, PA), Congregation Beth Shalom (Seattle, WA), Congregation B’nai Tzedek (Fountain Valley, CA), Congregation B’nai Israel (Tustin, CA), Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, Shomrei Torah Synagogue (San Fernando Valley, CA), Temple Bat Yahm (Newport Beach, CA), Temple Beth David (Westminster, CA),Temple Beth El of South Orange County (Aliso Viejo, CA), Temple Beth Emet (Anaheim, CA), Temple Beth Ohr (La Mirada, CA), Temple Beth Tikvah (Fullerton, CA), Temple Beth Shalom (Needham, MA), Temple Beth Shalom (Santa Fe, New Mexico), Temple Beth Sholom (Santa Ana, CA), Temple Emanuel (Newton, MA), The Boston Synagogue (Boston, MA), Town & Village Synagogue (NYC, NY), University Synagogue (Irvine, CA), Valley Beth Shalom (Encino, CA) & Walnut Street Synagogue (Chelsea, MA)

To learn about upcoming events this month, visit www.occsp.net.  To view past CSP events, check out our YouTube channel as well as our podcast and enjoy many sessions at your leisure.

The Jewish Artist

Sunday May 1, 2022

4:00-5:15 PM PDT/7:00-8:15 PM EDT



Is there Jewish art? Is there a unique way in which a Jewish artist thinks visually? What do Jewish artists share? How can we identify the Jewish lens through which we view what we encounter? How has this interpretive perspective changed over the generations? How does it change over our own journal this year? Among the artists examined are Pissaro, Modigliani, Chagall, Soutine, Mark Rothko, Eva Hesse, Mierle Ukeles, Deborah Kass, and a range of contemporary Israeli painters.

Thinking Visually

{limited space – hands-on series, with weekly assignments}

Monday May 2, 9, 16 & 23, 2022

90-minute sessions at 12:30 PM PDT/3:30 PM EDT


In this 4-week photo workshop, participants will study visual perception through photography, emphasizing both technical skills and visual expression. You will be exposed to a range of photographers, past and contemporary and diverse models of visual interpretation. Participants will create their own visual language in a photo journal that can later be part of a photo exhibition. In week one you will “meet” 8 different photographers, in week 2 you will learn about taking portraits, in week 3 landscapes and in week 4 how to tell a story. Limited to 15 CSP members, homework each week. Please email arie@occsp.net if you are interested. Requirements – a digital camera (can be smartphone) and a passion for photography. All levels welcome.

Conversations with 4 Groundbreaking Contemporary Artists

Tuesday May 3, 10, 17 & 24, 2022

10:00-11:15 AM PDT/1:00-2:15 PM EDT



Join us for a series of conversations between Tobi Kahn and four outstanding artists who have added greatly to the contemporary artistic conversation in diverse mediums


Session 1, May 3rd: Leonardo Drew 

For over three decades, Leonardo Drew has become known for creating contemplative abstract sculptural works that play upon a tension between order and chaos. At once monumental and intimate in scale, his work recalls post-Minimalist sculpture that alludes to America’s industrial past. Drew transforms accumulations of raw materials such as wood, scrap metal, and cotton to articulate various overlapping themes with emotional gravitas: from the cyclical nature of life and decay to the erosion of time. His surfaces often approach a language of their own, embodying the labored process of writing oneself into history. Drew’s works have been shown internationally and are included in numerous public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and Tate, London. His works have recently been acquired by The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Bloomington, Indiana; and New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana among others. 


Session 2, May 10th: Mierle Laderman Ukeles

For almost half a century, Mierle Laderman Ukeles has been making art across a range of media and processes to challenge our ideas of work, care, and collaborative art practices. In her early work, Ukeles made abstract, messy, bodily sculptures, but it was her entrance into motherhood that provided a catalyst for her most significant and enduring idea of "maintenance art" and the "maintenance artist". Ukeles understood motherhood and domestic labor as a kind of maintenance work and wanted to make this work visible by framing it as an art practice. Ukeles has documented her encounters with different kinds of care-workers, including sanitation workers and cleaners, and has also undertaken massive environmental care work, in the case of her current long-term project regenerating a landfill site in New York. Ukeles expanded on Marcel Duchamp's idea of the readymade, by stating not only that any found object can become art, but also that found actions, habits, and everyday activities, particularly those performed by women and working-class people, can be art too.


Session 3, May 17th: Larry Abramson

Born in 1954 in South Africa, Larry Abramson went on to live in Israel in 1961. He studied at the Chelsea School of Art in London between 1973-1974 and received the Kolliner Award for young artists from the Israel Museum in 1979. He is assistant director of the Jerusalem Print Workshop at the Florence Miller Art Center where much of the most interesting printmaking in Israel today takes place. He also acts as advisor to Mishkenot Shaananim Art Center. Although he still sees himself primarily as a painter the disciplines and opportunities provided by printmaking were significant in the development of his art allowing him to clarify his use of colour and form. His prints tend to follow a strict formal structure with a square format and a limited palette. Abramson constructs his screenprints by progressive overprintings of more or less transparent colours partially covering or exposing the layer underneath. The result of this is that he creates several planes within the image and 'the sensation of an emerging or submerging image; the feeling that you are looking at reflections never quite able to see the actual source of the image'. Abramson has held many one-man shows in Tel Aviv Jerusalem and New York and also participated in numerous group exhibitions. He is a founding member of "Artists Without Walls", a dialogue group of Israeli and Palestinian artists and was Chairman of the Bezalel Academy's Fine Art department between 1992-1999, and in 1996 became the founding director of the Bezalel Program for Young Artists, the post-graduate program which became the first Master of Fine Art course in Israel (jointly with the Hebrew University). 


Session 4, May 24th: Ariel Hacohen

Ariel Hacohen is a conceptual photography artist, working predominantly with black and white snapshot photography, digital image-manipulation and video-art. In addition, he sculpts 'photographic sculptures', creating objects using 3D modelling and casting techniques. Ariel has participated in numerous group exhibitions in museums and galleries across Israel, including the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The New Gallery – Teddy, Jerusalem (2020); the International Photography Festival, Tel Aviv; the Hecht Museum, Haifa; the HaCubia Gallery, Jerusalem (2019); the Beit HaGefen Gallery, Haifa (2016); and more. Since September 2020, he is enrolling in the MA Photography programme at the Royal College of Art, London. As a B.F.A graduate (with Hons) of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem (2015-2019), Ariel was awarded several academic prizes: the Lauren & Mitchell Presser Award for Excellence in Photography (2020); the Yossi Breger Award for Excellence in Photography (2019); the Excellence Award of the Visual and Material Culture Department (2019); and the Bezalel Excellence Award (2018). In 2017, he was selected to participate in a student exchange programme at the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris (ENSBA). In 2019, Ariel was awarded the America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) Scholarship for excellence in photography and the Hecht Prize for Young Artists in the field of fine arts. Between January and October 2020, before moving to London for his MA studies, he participated at the Art Cube Artists' Studios residency program in Talpiot, Jerusalem. Ariel is the recipient of the Clore-Bezalel Scholarship for full tuition for his studies at the Royal College of Art. 


Artist’s Beit Midrash

{limited space – hand’s-on sessions, weekly assignments}

Wednesday May 4, 11, 18 & 25, 2022

120-minute sessions at 12:30 PM PDT/3:30 PM EDT


The Artists' Beit Midrash program is co-facilitated by Rabbanit Leah Sarna and artist and artist/educator Tobi Kahn. There are four 2-hour weekly sessions - the first hour of each session will involve an examination of a diverse range of Jewish texts, both biblical and rabbinic, to see how, as artists, we can interpret these narratives visually. In the second hour, we will view and critique art created by the participants based on the texts. The texts examined in the first hour will begin with some foundational Torah texts about the Shemitta year, noticing keywords that tie Shemitta to other moments where the Jewish tradition encourages rest. We will then turn to later texts about the purpose of rest, both commentaries on the Torah as well as Talmudic, Halakhic and philosophical texts spanning from the early Middle Ages through to the 20th century.

By application only, limited to 15 CSP members, homework each week. Please email arie@occsp.net if you are interested.

Rabbanit Leah Sarna is the Associate Director of Education and Director of High School Programs at Drisha. She previously served as Director of Religious Engagement at Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation in Chicago, a leading urban Orthodox congregation. She was ordained at Yeshivat Maharat in 2018, holds a BA from Yale University in Philosophy & Psychology, and also trained at the SKA Beit Midrash for Women at Migdal Oz, Drisha and the Center for Modern Torah Leadership. Her published works have appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Lehrhaus, The Forward and MyJewishLearning.

4 Virtual Global Gallery Tours

May 5, 12, 19 & 25, 2022

12:30-1:45 PM PDT/2:30-3:45 PM CDT/3:30-4:45 PM EDT 22:30-23:45 Israel Time


In this 4-week course participants will be guided through gallery and museum exhibitions. Throughout the program we will view exhibitions, virtually meet artists, curators and art historians and hear about their perspectives on the works viewed. Participants will be introduced to what is new and important in the art world. The goal of the course is for participants to view art critically. Tobi Kahn’s gallery tours were ranked #1 in New York Magazine’s “Best Bets”.

Sacred Space, Sacred Time, Sacred Objects

Friday May 13, 20 & 27, 2022

9:30-10:15 AM PDT/12:30-1:15 PM EDT



Join us for three Friday conversations with artist Tobi Kahn as we explore the relationship between art and Jewish tradition. These 45-minute sessions will start with a short opening by Tobi and then turn to an open discussion based on your questions. 


Friday May 13, 2022 - Sacred Space 

On the relationship between museums, shrines, synagogues and the white cube and the human need for sacred spaces.


Friday May 20, 2022 - Sacred Time

On how time plays a role in art (the shift to video, sound, performance art and more) and its connections with Jewish time. 


Friday May 27, 2022 - Sacred Objects

On the relationship between Judaica and fine arts and how objects hold memory and meaning. 


Sunday May 8, 2022

11:00 AM-12:15 PM PDT/2:00-3:00 PM EDT


Phillips Collection: Creative Voices DC - TOBI KAHN

Artist Tobi Kahn will be in conversation with Aaron Rosen, Professor of Religion & Visual Culture and Director of the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary; Klaus Ottmann, Deputy Director for Academic Affairs and Special Initiatives at The Phillips Collection; and Debra Balken, independent curator and writer. The Phillips Collection’s Kahn “unit” of seven works is currently on display in the permanent collection galleries alongside their Picasso collection and the One-on-One installation, where British painter Bridget Riley selected three of her works to be displayed vis-à-vis a work by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The museum owns seven of Tobi’s pieces from various decades dating back to his early career. Tobi's solo exhibition FORMATIONS: Images of the Body opens at the Henry Luce III Center for Arts & Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, on May 8, 2022.

Sunday “Main Stage” Series

May 15, 22 & 29, 2022

4:00-5:15 PM PDT/7:00-8:15 PM EDT


Sunday May 15, 2022

What Makes Contemporary Art Compelling and Singular?

We will explore 7 contemporary artists who raise issues such as culture, politics, religion, sexuality and the environment in relationship to themselves and their work. Artists we will discuss include: Mark Bradford, Rackstraw Downes, Liza Lou, Marilyn Minter, Shirin Neshat, Meg Webster, Ai Weiwei & Billie Zangewa.

Sunday May 22, 2022

Ritual and the Art of Tobi Kahn

Join us for a presentation on ceremonial objects that Tobi has created over 30 years, both personal and communal - including Baby Naming Chairs, Omer Counter, Synagogue Interior, Memorial Lights, Tu b’Shvat Seder Plate and most recently a Sukkah/Meditative Space.

Sunday May 29, 2022

Words as Image

Artists are still finding new ways to manipulate paint, canvas, and space, and they’re constantly developing new reasons to turn words into art. Using language, these artists transform the alphabet into art. Join us as we explore the art of Jenny Holzer, Elaine Reicheck, Mel Bochner, Barbara Kruger, Christopher Wool, Robert Indiana & Lawrence Weiner.

It’s A Wrap

Tuesday May 31, 2022

12:30-1:45 PM PDT/3:30-4:45 PM EDT

LINK to be provided

In this final event in our one-month series, Tobi wraps up what he has learned from us and what we have learned over the past 30 days.