Weaving Women's Words Baltimore Stories
Creativity: Speaking Through the Arts

Speaking Volumes
Lynne Avadenka

Mixed media
42" x 87" x 3"
Photograph: R.H. Hensleigh

Artists, educators, and advocates, Jewish women have immeasurably enriched Baltimore's cultural life. As children, they were immersed in a world of the arts. Violin and dance lessons at the Peabody Conservatory, Saturday movies at the Pimlico, and tickets to "the pit" at Ford's Theater nourished their artistic passions. As mature artists, actors, dancers, and arts educators, they have passed their knowledge and expertise on to students of all ages. Baltimore is the fortunate recipient of their leadership and participation and activism in organizations like the Baltimore Theater Alliance and the Creative Alliance and in the founding of the Art Seminar Group. Their lifelong commitment to the arts continues to enhance all of Baltimore.

Artist's Statement
Lynne Avadenka
Huntington Woods, Michigan

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The tin boxes originally were part of the archival storage system of ancient papyri at the University of Michigan. When the University switched to kinder, softer containers, these boxes were given to me by a conservator friend. A few years ago, inspired by Anthony Burgess' idea that a book is a Box of Organized Knowledge, I created a series of mixed media works inside these boxes, based on the lives of the women of the Bible. I began with ancient papyri and Biblical women, and I continue now through history to these Jewish women of Baltimore. This seems to me to be a logical progression: each box serves as one volume of each woman's rich, many-faceted life. The Hebrew words are from the Bible, Exodus 35:25: "And all the women that were wise-hearted did spin with their hands." Each Hebrew word is layered with seven pages, the seven days of creation. The English texts are excerpts from the oral histories of each woman. Each quote is unique to the woman who uttered it and connects to all the other quotes.

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