Visual Arts

Learn to express your inner voice with professional artists who will guide your creation of a series of projects for your personal portfolio. Collaborate and explore new mediums with your fellow artists using a variety of art materials to create original artworks that will be prominently displayed throughout the week and in a final exhibit for the ArtsFest Showcase for your peers from JCC Maccabi®——the grand finale of JCC Maccabi ArtsFest®

Audition Requirements – Visual Arts 2018

What are we looking for?

  • Strong interest in visual arts with a desire and a passion to create
  • Experience or confidence in drawing, painting, photography or other visual medium
  • Have the ability to take work from conception to completion
  • Be open to new experiences, such as taking your favorite form of art and learning a new concept to incorporate in a new and exciting masterpiece
  • Appreciation for collaborative efforts in art

In addition to answering the questions below, you must submit samples of your work. Please record a video of yourself presenting two pieces from your portfolio and casually discussing each one, including an explanation of why the certain medium was used and if there was a specific thought or inspiration that motivated the work.

Once you have recorded the video, please upload it to a site such as YouTube or Vimeo and copy and paste the link into your audition form.

Please answer the following questions in the text boxes provided on the application.

  1. Tell us briefly your experiences in visual arts at school, home, and in workshops/classes.
  2. How do you wish to further your work/skills in visual arts while at ArtsFest?
  3. Why do you want to participate in JCC Maccabi ArtsFest?
  4. Anything else you would like us to know about you and your visual arts skills?
  5. Please provide the link to your video audition.

* For basic instructions to upload a video to YouTube, please click here

The program will culminate in the creation and sharing of a new work that will be part of the week’s final presentation and will be prominently displayed.

Visual Arts Artists in Residence

Gregory Navarro Pickens has dedicated his artistic talents to teaching children and teens about art and how to create it. He has done it through his work as executive director of Artists Reaching Kids, with Koo’s Art Café, the Long Beach and Los Angeles Unified School Districts, and the Orange County High School of the Arts. He has also taught at the college level at Fullerton and Irvine Valley colleges, as well as at California State University at Long Beach.

In addition to many honors from the City of Long Beach, the County of Los Angeles, and the state of California, Pickens has received recognition from Congress for his work. He has twice received distinguished arts awards from the Public Corporation for the Arts (PCA); In 1997 he was named Community Artist of the Year, and in 2002 Pickens received the PCA’s award for Community Arts Leadership. He’s also one of the founders and board members of the ArtExchange Visual Arts Center in downtown Long Beach.

Gregory studied painting at the University of Texas in San Antonio. He painted his first mural in 1987 during his last year of graduate school.

Stephen Elicker is a visual artist who discovered his passion for glass blowing while studying photography in college. The two mediums are not unrelated, involving light and its interaction with color, and rigorous discipline when working with temperatures and timing. But that single class changed the course of his artistic life.

Steve opened his own glassblowing studio in 1993 and is now “pursuing the freedom that glass allows.” Steve has now completed more than 20 projects working in a wide variety of materials and fabrication techniques, including custom fabricated ceramic and glass tile, cast and blown glass, fabricated metal, custom poured concrete processes, sculpted expanded polystyrene, and painted and poured polymers and resins.
Steve has established six production glass studios. These experiences led to his founding of The ArtExchange Visual Art Center in Long Beach, where glassblowing and other industrial arts can be practiced by those lacking facilities of their own. Steve currently sits on the ArtExchange’s board of directors. For his work within the community, Steve has been recognized by the Long Beach Arts Council as the Arts Professional of the Year for 2004, the Algalita Marine Research Foundation Environmental Hero for the year 2001 and received The City of La Verne Excellence in Community Design in 2007.