Don't Miss P’Chotchka, A Party Platter of Minnesotan-Grown Art

SunMeeChomet headshot

Featured artist Sun-Mee Chomet


Eight artists. Eighteen images. Eighteen seconds.
I have been thinking about Jewish art and artists a lot this year as I explore the possibilities of what their work means and the opportunities that exist for Minnesotan-grown Jewish artists. It is rather incredible that in Minnesota, of all places, we have an arts initiative that robustly supports, funds, and creates opportunities for Jewish artists. This organization, Rimon (the Hebrew word for pomegranate), nourishes growth for Jewish artists and makes the case for the sustainability of art as a life-long pursuit.
Rimon, which was founded in 1995, is an initiative of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. It has supported over 200 Minnesota artists working in every art form: video and film, visual art, theater, music, dance, photography, and writing. I spoke with the executive director, David Jordan Harris, about the intention behind this event. “The idea behind P’Chotchka is to showcase how Rimon has made investments in literally hundreds of artists in our community. We have sown so many seeds that have flowered spectacularly. We want the public to know it and to lift up the work of these artists.”
The unique format of P’Chotchka, a benefit for Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, allows for an evening of bite-sized art, film, and performance. P’Chotchka presents eight artists speaking about ideas or images that have motivated or inspired their artistic work. Eighteen images of each artist’s choosing are projected on a screen, and the artists speak 18 seconds per image. “P’Chotchka is the perfect format for our short attention span culture,” states Harris. This sampling will showcase the scrumptious taste of Jewish art in Minnesota.
Artists and art enthusiasts love the idea and opportunity to hear each individual’s art narrative in a way that is “fresh and provocative, intriguing and non-linear.” The images that are presented give a primal sense of how art transforms these artists’ lives. The public gets insight into how artists come to make the decisions they do about their art. Where did it come from, and why did it come to be?
The eight outstanding artists featured at P’Chotchka are actor/playwright Sun-Mee Chomet (pictured), writers Neal Karlen and Judith Katz, visual artist Shana Kaplow, theater director Michael Robins, filmmaker Barbara Wiener, storyteller Carla Vogel, and choreographer Stuart Pimsler. Each has received funding from Rimon through its Project Support or Travel-Study Grants or has been featured in a Rimon Artist Salon.
This is Rimon’s second P’Chotchka. Alexandra Katz reviewed last year’s fundraiser in L’Etoile, where she explained that “P’Chotchka comes from a Japanese phrase meaning “chitchat” and imitates a Japanese performance style. Speed plus wit makes for a good ‘chat’…”
Don’t miss out on supporting the Jewish arts!  P’Chotchka takes place at Pinstripes (3849 Gallagher Drive, Edina) on June 3, 6 p.m. The price of admission is $54 and includes food and a beverage. Tickets may be purchased online by May 29 at www.rimonMN.org or by calling 952-381-3449.