Photos: Brandeisians are giving away these creations as part of Festival of the Arts

A collage of art pieces donated for the Gifted Givers project

It's been a hard year, so treat yourself to a free gift of art. More than 60 Brandeisians have created hundreds of small works of art, both digital and physical, to give away during the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts.

Each member of the Brandeis community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) may choose one free gift from the online Gifted Givers catalog or visit the Brandeis Booths on Wednesday, April 28 (noon-5 pm) or Friday, April 30 (5-8 pm). Gifts will be shipped to those recipients who are not on campus. 

Meet some of the Gifted Givers and see what they created:

Cyril Ojilere ’21, a biology major and Posse scholar, has contributed a 20-page hardcover book of photos he took on the Brandeis campus and surrounding areas. He says, “I hope this photo book opens your eyes to the beauty to be seen today, and inspires you to behold it everywhere you go.”

Courtesy, Cyril Ojilere

A photo of the Louis Brandeis statue by Cyril Ojilere

Three labmates in Brandeis’ Marder Lab encouraged each other to contribute to the Gifted Givers catalog. Postdoc Ekaterina Morozova’s hand-drawn holographic and iridescent stickers have names like “Vector field rat” and “Spike waveform.”

Stickers by Ekaterina Morozova

Hillary Rodgers (GSAS) contributed 16 ceramic pieces ranging from cups to vases and bowls. "I make pottery as an escape from the stresses of graduate school. As a hobby potter, I enjoy the freedom to produce whatever inspires me and to follow my whims. My approach to ceramic art is that everything is an experiment,” she says.

A ceramic bowl by Hillary Rodgers

Similarly, Mara Rue (GSAS) finds relaxation in folding origami, which she learned as a child from her mother. Mara has contributed three 3-foot strings of origami butterflies and three freestanding origami dragons.
Three colorful oragami dragons

Origami dragons made by Mara Rue

Danielle Friedman ’09, an artist currently based in Eilat, Israel, is offering two gifts: a virtual consultation session for an artist in which she will help edit the artist’s portfolio or website; and sets of note cards printed with 35mm black and white photographs she shot on a February 2019 trip to Mexico City.


Courtesy, Danielle Friedman

Art by Danielle Friedman

Blaq Star Soaps is the creation of Dennis Hicks, director of student activities. Dennis names each handmade soap in his  line after an R&B artist, hip hop group, or a favorite song. (“Think of it as a mix tape of musical memories and old school suds.”) The soap he’s created for the Gifted Givers catalog is a Brandeis blue bar called Wash This Way, inspired by Run DMC’s “Walk This Way.”


Courtesy, Dennis Hicks

Soap created by Dennis Hicks

You can find a complete listing of events on the festival website and event highlights on Facebook and Instagram.

“As Leonard Bernstein said, among the components of happiness are ‘the enjoyment of gifts and the joy of gratitude,’” said festival producer Ingrid Schorr, director of Arts Engagement. “We hope that this year’s Festival of the Arts will bring that happiness to campus and provide some much-needed community care.”

Categories: Alumni, Arts, Student Life

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