Instagram (where more recent work can be found) https://www.instagram.com/
Website (in progress, some of the microgrant project is visible) http://www.ariellesteinstudio.
1. When were you at Hadar?
I was a fellow at Hadar over Summer 2017 and during the 2017/18 year.
2. Where are you now (physically)?
My physical self can usually be found in or around Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
3. What are you up to now?
These days, I’m preparing to apply to Rabbinical programs, continuing to develop my art practice, teaching at Union Temple and participating (as a visual artist) in the New Jewish Culture Fellowship. I’m also making Ketubahs and other lifecycle documents and showing my work in a variety of places. Check out Jewish Currents’ fall edition to see one of my drawings about studying Talmud!
4. Is there a beautiful piece of Torah from your Hadar days that you keep close to your heart?
The theme of “category shift” that comes up a lot at Hadar was and continues to be close to my heart. In a time and place where so many things feel (and are) stagnant, paralyzed or stuck, it is powerful to have examples over and over again of how intellectual shifts can (positively) change physical and emotional reality in so many ways. Remembering that one definition of a person in one time and place can not and should not hold forever/in our time is continuously inspirational, despite knowledge of how much work on a personal and communal level must be done to enable these shifts to to be embraced.
5. If you could describe your experience at Hadar in one word what would it be (feel free to elaborate beyond a single word)?
6. Can you tell us a little about your micro grant work?
My microgrant supported my creation of an illustrated documentation of the weekly parsha, which I am developing into book format. Over the course of the year, I depicted content from each week’s parsha in real time, with the intention of interpreting the content through a female gaze. Unsurprisingly, this project is way, way bigger than I initially planned it to be, and I expect to continue the work for another year long cycle or more. Somewhat humorously, this work has really resonated with a lot of folks from the secular and Christian communities around where I grew up, which was a surprise to me.
7. How have Torah and mitzot changed your life (post Hadar)?
Post Hadar, my engagement with Torah has been more consistent and investigative than it ever has been in the past. Mitzvot are more difficult for me, but I definitely have clearer language and thinking about my personal adherence to ritual and practice. Hadar gave me space to delve deeply into Torah and Mitzvot, which in turn enabled me to bring my art into much more direct conversation with those aspects of my life and identity.