Bodzin Art Gallery Presents: In Conversation with J Artist Ilana Hever

Since March 21, the vibrant and serene mixed media artworks by local artist, Ilana Hever have been turning heads in the Bodzin Art Gallery. Aptly named “Joyful Journey with People, Places, and Nature,” the exhibition is a 25-piece window into what the artist considers to be the keys to empathy and self-reflection.  Sarah Berry asks the artist four questions about her process, the intersections of art and psychology, and advice for artists on their journeys.

When did you start making art and what keeps you going?

I started painting in 1985. I painted for several years then shifted to study Counseling Psychology while holding a degree in Art History and Philosophy from Tel Aviv University.

As a single mother, I dedicated my time to raise my two beautiful daughters and made a living working in art galleries. Using my education, I was able to gain insight on different perspectives and develop a deeper understanding of images, colors and composition which shaped my skills in self-expression and reflection as an artist myself.

How did you gravitate to the medium and style you are working on?

Impressionism and pointillism are what I admired most while studying art history and this is what I implement in my art. My psychology expertise has contributed to my art by shaping my self-expression, helping develop empathy to nature, to people, and places, and uncovering the story behind an image. Visual analysis and critical thinking also contribute to my art.

In today’s world, everything is visual. We are trained to shift from verbal to visual thinking.

How does your work as a psychotherapist inform your practice as an artist?

Most people have difficulties communicating feelings and thoughts, so I have implemented art into my counseling practice. Counseling  provides a process that gives people focus and can help them make appropriate choices, using art can give people tools to create a picture of their own image and issues – revealing the invisible, making it visible.

Do you have any advice to share with aspiring artists?

Receiving feedback from others can help artists see their work in a new light and inspire them to explore new directions. I am a big advocate of learning and exploring nature, people, and places. Appreciate the beauty of art and nature that surrounds you. Open your mind to philosophical concepts, and connect to all aspects of art. Most importantly, create a narrative in each picture and never stop learning.

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