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article imageSan Francisco metal-smith artist opens her studio for event Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Oct 7, 2013 in Entertainment
San Francisco - October for the artists in San Francisco is a special time of year because of the annual Open Studios event. Each weekend in October artists throughout the City hold open their work-spaces to the public so people can experience and appreciate their work.
It is also an great opportunity for people to buy art items for sale direct from the artist. Local metal-smith artist Aimee Golant is especially thrilled because this will be her very first Open Studios experience.
Golant has been working with metal and creating pieces in San Francisco for 20 years. Aimee will be among approximately 40 other metal-artists, noted Liam Passmore, press spokesperson for ArtSpan the non-profit sponsor and coordinator of the annual event. This artist-generated event is the oldest and largest open studios program in the country. It was formed over three decades ago, when a group of local artists got tired of dealing with the art-gallery scene and decided to host their own art showing by opening up their studios for people to visit. Since that time the homespun art-showing has become an annual event each year and keeps growing attracting more artists and people to participate.
Candle holder and match holder by metal artist Aimee Golant.
Candle holder and match holder by metal artist Aimee Golant.
Courtesy of metal artist Aimee Golant
Golant is very pleased to participate in this year's Open Studios. She comes from a family of metal-smiths that goes back several generations. Yet as she explained to this reporter while on assignment for The Richmond Review, "While in college at San Francisco State University, my major was sociology with a minor in metal." "I was interested in learning about social change, and how atrocities like the Holocaust could happen," she said.
When Golant's grandfather gave her his tools she suddenly realized here was the connection to help her attain her heart's goal to share the universal in Judaism to help us find oneness."I was using my grandparents’ story of survival in the Holocaust for a paper that was due for a class I was taking on the Holocaust and Genocide when my grandfather started giving me his tools," she said.
"When I started metalsmithing, said Golant, it was as if I took the tools out of my back pocket." "It felt right," said Golant. "Clearly this was something I was meant to do." And, all the time," she added.
This is one of several menorah s that artist Aimee Golant has made. Many of her items are for sale a...
This is one of several menorah's that artist Aimee Golant has made. Many of her items are for sale at the Dayenu Gift Shop at the JCC in San Francisco and through her web site.
Courtesy of metal artist Aimee Golant
Golant was inspired by what was possible through her art. "With the help of a wonderful metal arts teacher the idea for my first mezuzahs came into being." A mezuzah is the doorpost blessing, that is set at the doorpost of a Jewish home. Golant described her very first works. "They had flames, jail bars, and barbed wire on them, (remembering the Holocaust) yet they preserved an important Jewish tradition that I was able to share," she said.
"In making those pieces and explaining them to the class, said Golant, I felt the importance of understanding our oneness-- we all breathe, we all bleed, we all experience pleasure and pain."
By pursuing the craft of metalsmithing Golant had found the means by which she would be able to express her deep appreciation for Judaic studies and tradition.
"Historically, organized religion has not brought us (humanity) together," said Golant. "Yet, as she points out, there are tools in each religion that have value to any human regardless of faith." "I want to share The Torah (which is the first five books of The Bible that also has ages-old rabbinical commentary) so that anyone can use its gifts, which I believe, she said, will help soften the lines that separate us."
 Aimee s work is very well made and she is well respected in the community   said Dayenu Gift Shop o...
"Aimee's work is very well made and she is well respected in the community," said Dayenu Gift Shop onwer/manager Hiroko Rosen.
Courtesy of metal artist Aimee Golant
She is very blessed to have her husband David who is also a metal-smith work with her. They met at the San Francisco Metal Arts Guild and since that time their life together and now with their young son has been a joy. As a family, she noted, "art is the air we breath."
Golant recently had an art installation displayed at Temple Emanu-El in the Richmond District during the "High Holy Days" of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. "We were delighted to have Aimee Golant's wonderful artwork in our show. In fact, she was one of the very first artists we placed on our 'must have' list," said Paula B. Freedman the archivist at Congregation Emanu-El.
"Aimee exhibited five beautiful pieces in the exhibit," noted Freedman, which just recently closed. The exhibit was called, Traditional By Conception, Modern By Design: An Exhibition of Contemporary Judaica In Honor of Rabbi Stephen S. Pearce, 31 May – 29 September 2013. "The response to this exhibition was excellent, said Freedman so much so that we extended it for an extra two weeks."
Many of Golant's works, such as various styles of menorahs, mezuzahs and candle holders have been featured in other places and included in other shows. They are for sale at the Dayenu Gift Shop at the Jewish Community Center on California Street, also in the Richmond District. "Aimee also makes wonderful jewelry that we have for sale here," said shop-manager/owner Hiroko Rosen."All of her works are very well made and they have that spiritual aspect to them," said Rosen.
Chef and culinary entrepreneur Ramni Levy agreed as he told this reporter, "That is what draws me to her work, more so than the spiritual aspect," said Levy. "Aimee's work is of the highest quality, the craftsmanship, the dedication and most of all, the passion for her work," he said.
Levy is a the son of a rabbi and understands the symbolism of Golant's designs. Yet as he explained, "it is her uniqueness as an artist and her integrity that I consider most remarkable." When not promoting his culinary business as a knish king, he is donating his time teaching Jewish studies at various congregations in the area. "I bought two dozen mezuzahs for the students in a bar mitzvah class I was teaching," he said.
Golant will be serving Levy's knishes at the Open Studios event on Oct. 26 and 27. Rosen said she would like to stop by visit.
For more information visit the Open Studios/ArtSpan web site. Or visit Aimee Golant's web site
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