Woof and Drash: Weaving the Jewish Experience


Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership
610 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago
On exhibit August 25, 2013 through February 23, 2014

Berit Engen began weaving as a child in Norway, and now practices this ancient craft of entwining woof (horizontal threads) with warp (vertical threads) from her home in Oak Park, Illinois. Her work is influenced by the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience, making her miniature tapestries modern-day commentaries on the engaging, joyous, and at times challenging aspects of Jewish living.

Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership is proud to present the debut exhibit of Ms. Engen’s work. Eighty-five of Ms. Engen’s tapestries will be on view in the first-floor vestibule gallery at Spertus. Admission is free.

Although small in size (most no bigger than 9 x 6 inches), Ms. Engen’s tapestries pack a punch in terms of design, execution, and particularly subject matter. The works, woven of Scandinavian linen yarn because of its light-reflecting qualities, explore a wide and diverse selection of subjects, some playful and some starkly serious.

Topics range from the satiric incisiveness of Yiddish curses to the resonance of ancient prayers, and from the joyfulness of Jewish holiday celebrations to the raw emotional impact of tragedies both communal and incredibly personal.

See more at: www.spertus.edu/programs-events/woof-and-drash

Berit Engen