Since the time I took up the pen and brush again I have been drawn to the menorah as a subject, and studied the Torah for its description — mainly in Exodus 25, and Exodus 37. Here is a concise entry of the menorah by Tracey R. Rich at Judaism 101.
I found it intriguing that the almond blossom is used to describe the bulbs and branches. The almond staff of Aaron that budded a branch has great significance. While there is no longer a temple in Jerusalem for the menorah to rest, one enduring purpose is to give light to humankind of the presence of Hashem throughout the world.
I want to give credit where its due. the first big help came last month (Feb 2015) when I walked in at Spring Board for the Arts offices in Lowertown St Paul, Minn. I met one of their resource directors, Zar M, and he showed me their free courses on Work of Art, Business Skills for Artists, which I enrolled in promptly. After meeting a co-attendee at the 3rd workshop, he gave me the Artist Directory & Guide for Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA). My eyes popped as I realized this community of 700 artists (in both Minneapolis and St Paul) have their collective studios or home in a 1-mile square neighborhood next to the Mississippi River. I’ve known of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, U of M, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, Walker Art center, Weisman Art Museum, etc, but that’s a different kind of community; its more like the education phase–if you look at a continuum– where the business end is a gallery and patrons, and customers ranging from individual to corporations. I have definite plans to follow the map in this directory and get familiar with the artists there in NE Minneapolis, even take the Art-a-Whirl tour to get a lay of the land. I’m just so sure this will be the type of influence and encouragement I know I’ve been lacking for 25 years.