Thank you to the Peleh Residency and Asylum Arts for an incredible summer. For nine weeks, I had the opportunity to dig deeply into my art practice while also spending time with my family in beautiful Berkeley. I also met weekly with the iconic cartoonist and historian, Trina Robbins. With her guidance, I dug deeply into the San Francisco underground comics scene. At the same time, my dad's cousin, Roberto Mendoza, generously told me his stories about his time in the Bay Area in the 1970's. The result is a character I love, Bettie Warrior, a Native American activist. I can't wait for you to meet her! Next stop in the residency is two weeks in Brooklyn with The Neighborhood BK and a visit to the Jewish Book Council. Details to come!
Photo Credit: ©Geoffrey Biddle
This event was such a treat. The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian organized a conversation about the Indigenous Jewish experience. Sarah Podemski, star of FX's Reservation Dogs, and I chatted about being Ashke-Natives. We discussed where our two sides were similar and where they diverged. It was so special to have time to dive into this subject. Thanks to Sydney Yaeger of MJH who facilitated and Cynthia Benitez from the Smithsonian who guided our chat.
Check it out here:
Great talk with Kal Balaven from the Dunn School on his podcast, The Whole Student. We talked about the teachers that were most influential in my life. Much gratitude to Dr. Bernadette Anand, my high school English teacher, who urged me to share my story. Please have a listen: https://youtu.be/vFOYsMFOEgw
I dug deep for this talk. The Guibord Center, an interfaith organization, partnered with IslamiCity for a storytelling program. The topic was "Surviving Racism" - a heavy topic. I told a story I cried about on my therapist's couch. You can hear it too! Check out “How Survivors of Racism are Healing: The Stories” from The Guibord Center on Vimeo.
The video is available at https://vimeo.com/693769823
My artwork will be exhibited in the show, "Holy Sparks," a collaboration between the Braid in Santa Monica and Hebrew Union College in New York. Twenty-four women artists were challenged to portray twenty-four women rabbis. I was honored to create a piece about the supercool Rabbi Julie Schwartz. Rabbi Schwartz is the first female Naval chaplain. Usually, my work is in comics. With this piece, I wanted to challenge myself to present the multitudes of my subject in just one image.
We've gotten some good press too!
You can read more about the exhibit here:
I started drawing comics about my intersectional identity so that I could go into schools and share my story with kids. I wanted my own children to face fewer questions about their Native American background at their Jewish day school. So I am very excited to be included in the Jewish Educator Portal of the Jewish Education Project! Being included as a resource for educators has always been part of my mission as an artist. A sheynem dank and mvto (thanks) to the folks at the Jewish Education Project.
Check out my comic essay, "Visiting National Parks While Native," at the Jewish Book Council. You can find it here: www.jewishbookcouncil.org/pb-daily/visiting-national-parks-while-native
I was so thrilled to be part of the Cincinnati Jewish and Israel Arts and Culture event, ish Festival. I shared my story with a great crowd (virtually, of course!) and then we all worked together on a small art project that centered on identity. Can't wait to be there in person some day!
I'm very excited to partner with At the Well Project as they celebrate Jewish artists and connect women across the world. A Well Circle is a group of women who commit to meeting monthly. It's so great to have guidance as you connect with old and new friends. Go to www.atthewellproject.com to get the tools you need to create your own circle.
Check out Paper Brigade, a publication of the Jewish Book Council. My comic, My Sioux-Got is on page 68 of Volume 3! Very honored to be included with all the other great writers and artists.
Emily Bowen Cohen
I draw memoir-style comics that explore being Native-American and Jewish.