Jacqueline Kott-Wolle

 Growing Up Jewish–Art & Storytelling is a series of contemporary artworks and short narratives about Jewish identity as it evolved through five generations of my family. Inspired by vintage photos, I created this series to look at the people, experiences, and community that shaped my Jewish identity, to tell my family’s Jewish story, and perhaps shine a fresh new light on what North American Judaic art could look like. Some pieces in the series depict joyful accounts of the Judaism of my youth, including memories of Jewish summer camp, Purim carnivals, or singing around Passover tables; other pieces speak to my family’s history, including the acculturation process experienced by my parents and grandparents who arrived in Canada after the devastation of the Holocaust and rebuilt their lives with complicated feelings of anguish and optimism. I examine my personal Jewish observances—the traditions I’ve kept, the ones I’ve “adjusted” to better suit my family’s current needs, and the ones I wrestle with. Every seemingly simple Jewish moment I painted had a story.