Arts and Culture | Local

JCC gallery to exhibit Judaic stitchery, paper art

Iris-folded pomegranate card by Anne Lowe
Detail from a challah cover by Barbara Esmond of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework
Detail from a challah cover by Barbara Esmond of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework

The Tucson Jewish Community Center Fine Art Gallery will exhibit “Stitching Jewishly,” handcrafted Jewish ritual and cultural needlework by the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework, Tucson Chapter, along with “Jewish Touches of Whimsy in Paper Art and Calligraphy” by Anne Lowe from July 31 through Sept. 15. An artists’ reception will be held Sunday, Aug. 2, from 2-4 p.m.

In addition, the Guild will offer a free “Make It and Take It” session on Tuesday, Aug. 4, from 1 to 2 p.m. in the library of the Tucson J. Barbara Esmond, president of the Tucson chapter of the Pomegranate Guild, will speak about the organization, and Lowe will teach participants to make an iris-folded paper hamsa card. RSVP is required to Lynn Davis at 618-5026 or ldavis@tucson

The Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework ( was organized in 1977 by a group of professional Jewish needle artists and educators in New York City. The guild, which has chapters throughout the United States and Canada, shares techniques to create Jewish ritual and household items, passing on Jewish needlework traditions to future generations. The name “pomegranate” links Jewish heritage to modern practice, harkening back to Exodus 39:24-25, “And they made upon the hem of the robe pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet and twined linen,” which describes the garments of Aaron the high priest.

Lowe, who is also a Pomegranate Guild member, says her pieces “range from Jewish folded art pieces to Hebrew calligraphy done in my own special quirky style. My artwork collectively comes under my personal heading of ‘paper therapy.’”

Highlights of the show include an embroidered chuppah and iris-folded animals from Noah’s Ark.