The traveling Israeli artists Maya Gelfman and Roie Avidan, creators of the ongoing photography project “Mind the Heart!” have rolled through sites in 100 cities across five continents: They’ve traveled from New York to Bangkok, Sydney to London, from the Israel National Museum to the National Cathedral in D.C., to orphanages in Kenya and Uganda, including 42 of the United States.
In June they will roll into the Bay Area — stopping at the Peninsula JCC in Foster City and the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael, where they will exhibit photographic documentations of their works and create new, site-specific art. Titled “The Spaces Between,” the project “aims to get audiences to be present — be here now,” involving them in the creative process, said Kimberly Gordon, PJCC cultural arts director.
At the PJCC, the artists will install a new work on Saturday, June 8, on one of the walls in the gallery, which will also display photographs of the artists’ past work, from June 7 to Aug. 26.
At the Marin JCC, the artists will create a new work Monday and Tuesday, June 10 and June 11, inviting the public to participate from 3 to 5 p.m. on June 11. The photo exhibit, comprising about 40 images different from those at the PJCC, runs through Aug. 25.
For Gelfman and Avidan, the adventure began in July 2017, when they embarked on Mind the Heart! — a social-art experiment. After giving away all their possessions, their home and studios, the artists deliberately surrendered to the unknown in one foreign land after another, letting strangers dictate the route, schedule and daily experiences. All the while, they stayed committed to a 24/7 creative process — creating site-specific, public works every day. They developed a signature technique of “drawing” on walls with tangible materials such as yarn, foam and felt, often integrating graffiti, that prompt reflections on a place.
To understand the art of Maya Gelfman and Roie Avidan, you really have to see it. And they’ve come so far to see you.
“The Spaces Between,” art installation Saturday, June 8. Photo exhibit June 7 to Aug. 26, At Peninsula JCC, 800 Foster City Blvd., Foster City. pjcc.org/programs