Juried show features artists from near and far

From beautiful embroidered flamingos to handsome traditional tallits, this year’s To Life

festival brings a blend of old and new artists to sell their vivid creations. Judaica is widely featured, along with jewelry, ceramics, glass, fiber work, mixed media and more.

Among the 70 craftspeople accepted into the juried show are To Life veterans such as ketubah artist and calligrapher Melissa Dinwiddie of Mountain View, fashion designer and fiberwear artist Remy Pessah of Mountain View, and Meryl Urdang of Palo Alto, who creates silk-under-glass trays, plates and other gifts.

“The artists that we have are the ones who really cater to a Jewish audience,” said Dina Jacobson, artists coordinator for the event. She says the festival is always “seeking out new artists” to participate.

One of those new artists is Karen Shi of San Jose, whose embroidery is so finely detailed it could almost pass for a painting. Her featured piece on To Life’s Web site, “Pink Flamingo,” is almost photographic in quality.

Benny Anderman, on the other hand, travels all the way from Israel to participate in the show, selling his soft, woven tallits.

The Bay Area, of course, has its own large crop of contributing artists — from Vladimir Vitkovsky of San Francisco, a Russian-born oil painter and wood-panelist, to sixth-generation metalsmith Aimee Golant, whose signature mezuzahs and menorahs are highly refined.

“Functional art” is in abundance, though fine art worthy of display in any gallery — or home, for that matter — can also be found.