Shmita With the Blue Wolf (after the Bezalel School)

Ketzia Schoneberg

About Ketzia Schoneberg

I am a contemporary mixed media female artist. My figurative expressionist paintings embrace what I describe as the “Liminal,” existing in the thresholds between the human and animal worlds. My work explores an ancestral narrative, cultural identity, exile and introspection, personal mythology and sexuality. Animals, ritual practices, cultural objects and markings populate the personal iconography in these paintings, while addressing complex, ancient themes of human and animal interaction. The relationships I explore between the female figure and the creature has roots in cross-cultural mythology, biblical story, and feminist and shamanic engagement. Figurative and abstract elements, vivid color and loose mark making are hallmarks of my figurative expressionist style. I use acrylic paint, graphite, pastel, charcoal and oil pastel on paper and canvas in my works. My work is exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, and my paintings are collected throughout the U.S. and Canada. Born in Los Angeles, I grew up in San Francisco and am currently living and working in the Pacific Northwest.

About Shmita With the Blue Wolf (after the Bezalel School)

I have created several paintings in response to the 5782 Shmita year, and Leviticus 25:1–7: “…. All the crops shall be eaten by the domestic and wild animals that are in your land….”.Leaving food for animals relates to Judaism’s code of laws regarding the overall treatment of animals (Tsa’ar ba’alei hayim | צער בעלי חיים‎), and its requirement that they be treated with consideration and compassion. I often portray a complex, interdependent, intimate and gentle relationship between humans and animals in my work.Shmita With the Blue Wolf (after the Bezalel School), is part of my 2021 painting series entitled Rites of Spring; Nissan. The wolf and the seated female figure are shown on the same level and at a similar size, underscoring an idealized, positive, safe relationship between the two. The figures intersect where the watery blue of the wolf enters the woman’s hand, suggesting an emotional connection. The two are portrayed in front of imagery sourced from an antique carpet created at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem in the early 20th century. Menorahs populate the deep blue, earthy surface, with a nod to the Torah along the lower left border, reiterating the importance of the relationship of humans to animals in Jewish law.The consideration of wild animals in the Shmita year is congruent with Judaism’s laws and traditions regarding how humans treat animals. Shmita With the Blue Wolf (after the Bezalel School), speaks to this recognition and relationship.