“Let Us Pray” (mixed media) by Caron Tabb (Photo: Julia Featheringill)

Caron Tabb

“Let Us Pray”

Caron Tabb is a conceptual mixed-media artist and CJP grantee.

“A traditional tallit (prayer shawl) has 613 tassels symbolizing the 613 commandments Jews are expected to observe. With words from Emma Lazarus’s poem ‘The New Colossus’ inscribed on the fabric—‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…’—my tallit enshrines a fundamental Jewish tenet: to care for the stranger. It has only 13 tassels on each side, which is symbolic of the 13,000 immigrant children who were held in detention centers in the USA on the day I completed it.”

“Let Us Pray” by Caron Tabb (Photo: Julia Featheringil)
Caron Tabb (Courtesy photo)

Caron Tabb was born in South Africa, raised on a farm in Israel from the age of 8, and has lived in the U.S. for the last 20 years. Growing up in these difficult and extremely complex societies has deeply impacted the way she sees and engages with the world.  It’s what led her to a long career in nonprofits focused on social justice work, and, ultimately, to the issues she addresses in her artwork.

Caron’s conceptual mixed-media work addresses issues of inequality, racial justice, immigration, and feminism as seen through the lens of her Jewish heritage. Her upcoming solo show, “Humanity Is Not a Spectator Sport,” will be on view at Beacon Gallery in Boston in November 2021.

Visit Caron’s portfolio site.


How does your connection to Jewish community influence your art?

For as long as I can remember, I have been engaged in issues relating to social justice. I came to art-making late in life after a long career in both the Jewish and non-Jewish nonprofit world. As such, it was only natural that I source material for my work at the nexus of art and tikkun olam (repairing the world). My conceptual mixed-media work addresses issues of inequality, racial justice, immigration, and feminism as seen through the lens of my Jewish heritage. I tend to use Jewish ritualistic objects, biblical texts, and Hebrew as a departing point for many of my sculptural and mixed-media pieces.

Finish this thought: In order to create, I need…

To ask myself questions that are core to my identity and look for ways to answer these questions in a visual way. It is only when the question is clear to me that I can begin to seek the answers that result in my art. Most recently, I have grappled with the question of my role and responsibility as a white, Jewish, female artist at this point in history. I have read books about racial issues and spent time studying with various rabbis in the community seeking the Jewish response to the issue of racial injustice.

What’s your next artistic project or challenge?

I am currently in the final stages of preparing for my solo show titled “Humanity Is Not a Spectator Sport.” This show will take place at Beacon Gallery in Boston in November 2021. The work presented in this show addresses systemic racism, inequality, and our shared humanity. It is a call to action for each of us to opt in to be change agents.

Learn more about CJP’s arts and culture initiative.

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