Irmari Nacht of Englewood was selected as a winner in the 2020 American Craft Week artists’ contest, “Art Therapy in the Time of Covid19.” Her book, “Books134CoronaDream,” which showcases art made from recycle materials, will be included in the new American Craft Week Showcase online exhibit.
Although Ms. Nacht creates many books with Jewish themes, this one focuses on the worldwide pandemic. Ms. Nacht is a supporter of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades and the Jewish Home in River Vale.
Ms. Nacht uses discarded books and transforms them into artworks; they’re painted, distressed, cut into slivers that curl and undulate, returning to the tree-like shape from which the paper was made.
“Each day we are bombarded with statistics, government orders, information to preserve our sanity in isolation, tips on shopping, exercises and cultural events, online jokes, wonderful and sad stories about our heroic health professionals, and of course, Zoom meetings,” Ms. Nacht said. “I needed some order in the time of chaos. It helped me to mindlessly cut slices in a book, to do repetitive actions, and then break through the symmetry with just enough variation to express the changing world. The combination of chaos and order kept me grounded.”
Each year American Craft Week recognizes exceptional creative work in its annual Artists’ Contest. The 2020 theme clearly resonated as this contest drew the largest number of submissions ever. In evaluating the entries, the National ACW committee looked for impressive craftsmanship and design excellence in the piece, quality photographs, and an artist’s statement that solidly related their work to the covid-19 theme. The winners’ work is online at www.acwshowcase.com.