I wanted to express ‘essence,’ like when you take the cover off something and expose what’s behind it. The woman is not posed, she is not flaunting herself. Rather, she is standing in a very honest, open manner. I added extra water to the white paint, which, mixed with the blues, creates a meditative, peaceful, spiritual feeling. There is even something melancholy and contemplative about this painting.” –Ya’ara Gil-Glazer, commenting on one of her prize-winning paintings from the Ruben and Edith Hecht Museum Young Talent Competition.
Ya’ara Gil-Glazer, a 22-year-old second-year student who works mainly in acrylic painting, was one of three prize-winning University students in the Hecht Museum Young Talent contest. Open to high school students, soldiers, and first year art students studying at the University, the annual competition encourages young artistic talent in northern Israel. Last December, Gil-Glazer received an award for two of her paintings. It was the first time she had entered her art work in a contest.
A silver jewelry maker in her spare time, Gil-Glazer became interested in painting as a child. At the age of seven, her biologist father moved the family to the field school of Kibbutz Maagan Michael, located on the coast south of Haifa and known for its bird and nature preserve.
“Everyday in elementary school we had nap time. My parents talked to the teacher and I was given special permission to paint instead of sleep,” she says, smiling. “The quiet, open, natural setting of the kibbutz put me in the right state of mind to paint. Even today, I must have calm and quiet to concentrate on my painting.”
According to Gil-Glazer, artistic talent runs in her family. “My mother is a graphic designer, and practically everybody on my father’s side of the family is some type of artist.” Thus, when her parents realized that their daughter was another budding artist, they encouraged her to pursue art both in school and through private lessons. Now, fifteen years after her first lesson, she is still studying art.
“I wasn’t thinking of my future when I decided to concentrate my studies in the field of art,” she explains about her decision to study art at the University. “I still don’t really think about where my studies will lead me.”
She admits that she might look into teaching at the high-school level. “My teachers have opened my eyes to new perspectives. They help me see different points of views and different interpretations in artwork. I’d like to help others express themselves, as well.”
Gil-Glazer also studies sculpture, photography, ceramics, drawing, illustration, and art history. Photography is one of her favorites these days; she can frequently be found developing negatives in the University’s dark room. “With a camera in hand, I can capture the moment – it’s exciting,” she says.
Drawing also captivates her. “It is the basis of all art- sculpture, painting, photography,” she explains. “It helps me understand the way things are constructed.”
Gil-Glazer says that she derives inspiration for her art work from her husband and her two-year-old son. “Motherhood has added a new dimension to the way I approach my art work,” she observes. “I now see things in a different perspective – more maturely, and in a more open, accepting manner. I also see things more sharply and more honestly, which I think is a result of the responsibilities of motherhood.”
As for her free time? I don’t have much free time, she replies, in earnest. I can do my homework only after nine or ten at night, once my son is in bed.
But sometimes, she adds, I’m so exhausted that I join him!”