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Embodied art

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news

Alexandra Zevin has taken those outlines school kids do of their heads, hands or bodies for art class to a new level. She has created an international dialogue.The Brooklyn-based artist will be at the Tin Shop Saturday through Friday, Feb. 19. The highlight of her stay includes a silhouette self-portrait workshop, in which participants will trace their silhouettes on black paper, then combine images and text to symbolize themselves. They will then share their self-portraits with artists in Cairo, Egypt on Feb. 18, via Skype.”We selected Alexandra because of her interesting public participation program and the opportunity it presented for self-reflection within our community and for correspondence internationally,” said Jennifer Cram, Arts District coordinator.Zevin has worked in Brooklyn’s Department of Education for 21 years. She studied painting on the undergraduate and graduate level at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia University, respectively.Her idea for self-portraits came from art classes she taught schoolchildren, and her interest in Egyptian music and frequent travel to Egypt led her introduce the introspective art form through the Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery Outreach Program. She uses communication via Skype to link American artists with Egyptian artists. Participants ask questions, which the artwork elicits, to each other.”Working on an intercultural and interdisciplinary meeting ground is most interesting,” Zevin said about the work.So far, about 100 people have joined the conversation.”In Breckenridge, people will get an opportunity to think about the concept of identity and how fluid it is, and they will get an opportunity to have an intercultural exchange with a group of artists in Cairo,” she said.She loves the silhouette form of expression because it parallels how people see one another: First, they only see the exterior, or the silhouette, but inside exists an entire world.”It’s the mystery of communication,” Zevin said. “It’s not definitive – none of the silhouettes are being defined. It’s more like a series of questions.”During her stay at the Tin Shop, Zevin will work on creating a video using collected silhouettes. She will scan the pieces, then make a video in Photoshop, frame by frame, much like the old-fashioned way of animation first began by drawing each movement.


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