For Susan, Miriam, and Ellen.
About the name: Bat Sarah Press translates from the Hebrew to “Sarah’s Daughter’s Press”. The name has two meanings, with Sarah being both the Biblical matriarch of monotheistic religion, and the Hebrew name of my mother Susan. She passed away on November 18, 2014.
Bat Sarah Press was founded in Spring 2016 in the loving memory of the matriarchs of my family, who passed their deep passion for their culture, their resilience in fighting for their beliefs, and sense of purpose in making their mark on the world, to the next generation. My mother Susan, her sister Ellen, and their mother Miriam have now moved beyond this physical world. They were some of the most encouraging to me, and of my artistic development in the most formative moments of my life. They made me think hard and laugh harder. They gave the best hugs.
I have devoted my life to a practice of thinking and creating. From painting, to printmaking, to performance art, and now back to making objects and prints, the world for me is processed through materials and metaphors.
Growing up in a family strongly rooted in Jewish tradition, my mother often encouraged me to make artwork that reflected my culture. I resisted, or so I thought. The idea of "ritual artwork" felt archaic and detached from contemporary thought and values. Meanwhile the body of work I have made throughout my artistic practice has always related to issues around ritual, value, and community—all pillars of my Jewish upbringing.
It was only after my mother’s passing in November 2014 that I was asked to make my first Ketubah for my brother Jason and his bride Rachel. I fell in love with the diverse beauty of Ketubah documents throughout time, and also loved the process of working with the couple to create a meaningful and personalized work of art.
It was then that I began to wonder about other cultures’ ritual art objects, knowing that art is often a means for sharing stories. Bat Sarah Press is meant to be a platform for exploring generative aspects of religious and spiritual ritual through the lens of art objects. At this stage the company sells an array of traditional and culturally Jewish items and services. In time, the goal is to add more interfaith items to the shop as we grow, so that through the sharing of culture we can better understand and appreciate people coming from different backgrounds.
It is also important that BSP create an opening for individuals who have historically been subjugated or told they did not belong. BSP is equally eager to make ketubot and ritual artworks for Jewish, interfaith, LGBTQ, and not Jewish-identifying couples. I do my best to create an inclusive space through the BSP platform, where commonality is found in a willingness to go deep. If you have any suggestions that could help in achieving this, please do be in touch. I encourage feedback.
All manually printed items are currently produced at Hoofprint (a print shop I highly recommend checking out) in Chicago, Illinois.
Please be in touch with questions, comments, or suggestions.