June 7–August 26, 2019
“The present is the doorway to the sacred.”
—Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav
Mind the Heart! (est. 2009) is a worldwide art project by Israeli artists Maya Gelfman & Roie Avidan. Throughout the past decade, the project has reached more than 100 cities across five continents: from New York to Bangkok, Sydney to London, from the Israel National Museum to the National Cathedral in D.C. to orphanages in Kenya and Uganda.
The project aims to get audiences to be present—Be Here Now. This is achieved through tangible street art and public interactions. The art is a physical–mindful action that is always context driven. It reflects a direct influence of the place, time, and people there.
In July 2017, Gelfman & Avidan took that mission further and embarked on a social-art experiment. The premise was: if being present is about being now, then in order to maximize that now, one must cut away the past and the perceived control of the future.
After giving away all possessions, home, and studios, the artists placed themselves in the hands of the unknown in a foreign land, letting strangers dictate the route, schedule, and daily experiences, all the while staying committed to a 365/24/7 creative process—creating site-specific, public works each and every day.
Serendipity has proven to be an incredible force. It led the artists through 40,000 miles in 42 states, creating and speaking in hundreds of venues (including the PJCC in April 2018), and partnering with numerous institutions and cities including Houston, TX; Tel Aviv; The Smithsonian, D.C.; National Cathedral D.C.; Rice University, TX; University of Central Arkansas; and the Hillary Clinton Children’s Library in Little Rock, AR.
The project has also been featured in the media—print, online, and television—as well as in three international art books in Germany, France, and Colombia.
This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, where additional works can be seen in their gallery from June 11– August 25, 2019.
Made possible by the Koret-Taube Initiative on Jewish Peoplehood.