Artist’s visit a great one

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A group of kids in Suffolk recently made self-portraits from buttons, sunglasses, balloons, clothespins, hairbrushes, kitchen utensils, plastic toys and other small items under the direction of a world-renowned artist.

Hanoch Piven has made a name for himself creating caricatures of world leaders, athletes, businesspeople, celebrities and more larger-than-life figures using tiny objects. The Israeli artist is being presented this week as the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s first artist-in-residence for “Israel Today.”

But last week, even an artist who has been published in Newsweek, Time, Esquire and The Atlantic Monthly wasn’t too big-name to take some time to help out some local children.

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The ForKids organization that helps families facing homelessness in Hampton Roads managed to snag a bit of Piven’s time while he was in the area last week to have him present a workshop to some of the organization’s youngsters.

He showed the children how they could create self-portraits on boards they had been provided using just the right objects from a wide array of items that had been collected for the occasion.

The creations will likely be displayed in the ForKids Suffolk Regional Center for Children and Families, and it’s possible that one piece could be auctioned at the organization’s annual art auction next spring.

Robin Mancoll, director of the community relations council for the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, said the visit was a great opportunity for the kids.

“It’s such a great opportunity for these kids to see that there’s not just one way to be creative,” she said.

Having these local youngsters work with a world-renowned artist and gain some perspective on themselves was surely a great kickoff to Piven’s visit to the area. We commend all those involved.