The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island is pleased to announce that Providence-based artist and Jewish educator Zo Baker is the Alliance’s first artist-in-residence.
Baker, who uses they/them pronouns, has already been involved with the Alliance as the instructor of the popular Sukkot Sip ’n’ Paint event.
As the artist-in-residence, Baker will curate one large-scale group exhibition for the Jewish Culture Fest, on June 2, teach two or three workshops, give an artist lecture, and produce a solo exhibition at the end of their residency, in September 2024.
In an artist’s statement, Baker is described as an artist, curator and Jewish educator who explores themes of memory, ritual and Jewish culture through community-centered social practice. They’re interested in exploring ideas about personal identity through objects and domestic spaces-mining archives, thinking about who tells our stories and how Jews hold spaces through architecture and gathering.
Baker has worked for the last eight-plus years developing and facilitating arts-focused programming for Jewish nonprofits, creating spaces that cultivate excitement for inquiry and a sense of play through making, talking and always eating.
Born and raised in Queens, New York, Baker received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. They are also a recent graduate of the Tribe12 Fellowship, where they’ve been developing and scaling an artist’s residency specifically geared towards supporting professional Jewish artists.
Baker’s work has been featured at the Museum of Jewish Montreal, in the New York Times, Vice Magazine, The Times of Israel, and the Covenant Foundation’s Sightline Journal, where they were named one of “12 Jewish Artist-Educators You Should Know.” Additionally, they were recently awarded the Louis Schwarz and Elaine Friedman Schwartz Memorial Fund Award in Jewish Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Sachs Grant for Arts Innovation to continue work on their ongoing project, “Calling Home.”
The position of artist-in-residence will open to applications in the summer of 2024.
DEVORAH PHILLIPS (email@example.com) is the manager of arts and culture programming at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.