Teen artist selected for Queeny Art Fair

Ellen Futterman

By Ellen Futterman, Editor

It started with a two-week glass fusing class she took at Craft Alliance when she was 14-years-old. Fast forward to next month, when Caitlin Feldman will exhibit her one-of-a-kind abstract fused glass pieces at the 36th Annual Art Fair at Queeny Park from April 8 to 10. At 17, she is the youngest of the 136 artists selected to take part in the juried show.

“I was very excited when I found out that I made it,” says Caitlin, who is a senior at Parkway North High School and plans to attend Maryville University in the fall. “I couldn’t believe this was actually happening. It was like when I got into college. I felt so empowered. You just never feel as if your work is good enough and then when you are accepted into a juried show, it’s just so amazing.”

In addition to creating functional bowls, plates and platters out of fused-glass, Caitlin’s trademark has become unique abstracted faces out of geometric glass pieces fused together, each with its own style and personality. She cuts the glass herself to design and customize each face’s hair color, eye color, eyelashes, lip shape, freckles, style, and background color according to its personality. She even addresses an array of skin tones represent Caucasian, African American, Asian, and Hispanic audiences. Her abstracted faces range from a single face to four faces all on one background piece of glass.

“Doing faces just interests me because of all the different techniques involved in getting them to look a certain way, plus each has its own personality,” she says, adding that her faces range in price from $28 to $86.

At 16 years old, Caitlin started her own business called Abstracted Faces, and sells her work at a few galleries around St. Louis. She says her Jewish religion is important to her and has exemplified tikkun olam by giving back to the community, including donating a glass plaque to her synagogue, Shaare Emeth, which is now displayed near the religious school office.

Dessert for breakfast

Consider yourself invited this Sunday, April 3 from 10 a.m. to noon to Room B at the J’s Arts and Education Building, 2 Millstone Campus Drive, to sample the winning entries of Passover desserts from the 2nd annual Jewish Light Cooking Contest. Watch the judges review and taste each entry, before deciding on a winner and a runner-up. Once they are done, sample a taste from the winners and contenders and see if you agree with the outcome. It’s free and a great way to start your day.

Where kitsch meets knish

Meet Seth Front, a Jewish comedy writer from Los Angeles who parodied the Chinese Zodiac by combining iconic delicatessen imagery with pop culture sensibility. The result is a cottage industry at www.jewzo.com, which offers the Jewish Zodiac (see the text in the sidebar at right) on a myriad of products.

Front explains that the collection of 12 signs, based on birth year, are each represented by a popular deli food that personifies the food’s characteristics as well as explores compatibility with other signs. Hence, the spicy Pastrami is compatible with a salt-witted Pickle, its perpetually loyal sidekick.

In an interview, Front, the son of a Reform rabbi, said he came up with the idea while eating at a Chinese restaurant, staring at a placement emblazoned with the Chinese Zodiac. “Why isn’t there a Jewish Zodiac?” he wondered and then went about writing one. He now tours the country with a 45-minute presentation called “The Jewish Zodiac: A Culinary History of Jews in America Based on the Astrological Signs of the Delicatessen.”


The Jewish Zodiac

CHICKEN SOUP: 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003

You’re a healer, nourishing all whom you encounter. We feel better just being in your presence.  Mothers want to bring you home to meet their children – resist this at all costs. Compatible with Bagel and Knish.

EGG CREAM: 1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004

You’ve got a devious personality, since you’re made with neither eggs nor cream. Friends find your pranks refreshing; others think you’re too frothy. Compatible with Blintz, who also has something to hide.

CHOPPED LIVER: 1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

People either love you or hate you, making you wonder, “What am I, chopped liver?” But don’t get a complex; you’re always welcome at the holidays! Bagel’s got your back.

BLINTZ: 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

Creamy and dreamy, you’re rightfully cautious to travel in pairs.  You play it coy, but word is that, with the right topping, you turnover morning, noon and night.Compatible with Schmear.

LATKE: 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

Working class with a grating exterior, you’re a real softie on the inside. Kind of plain naked, but when dressed up you’re a real dish. Compatible with Schmear’s cousin Sour Cream.

BAGEL: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

You’re pliable and always bounce back, although you feel something’s missing in your center. If this persists, get some therapy. Compatible with Schmear and Lox…Latke and Knish, not so much.

PICKLE: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

You’re the perfect sidekick: friends love your salty wit and snappy banter, but you never overshadow them. That shows genuine seasoning from when you were a cucumber. Marry Pastrami later in life.

SCHMEAR: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

You blend well with others but often spread yourself too thin. A smooth operator, you could use some spicing up now and then. Compatible with Bagel and Lox. Avoid Pastrami – wouldn’t be kosher.


PASTRAMI: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Brisket’s hipper sibling, always smokin’ and ready to party. You spice up life, even if you keep your parents up at night. Compatible with Pickle, who’s always by your side.

BLACK AND WHITE COOKIE: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Kids love you, but make up your mind! Are you black or white? Cake or cookie? You say you’re “New Age,” all yin & yang.  We call it “bipolar.” Sweetie, you’re most compatible with yourself.

KNISH: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Flaky on the surface, you’re actually a person of depth and substance. Consider medical or law school, but don’t get too wrapped up in yourself. Compatible with Pickle. Avoid Lox, who’s out of your league.

LOX: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Thin and rich, you’re very high maintenance: all you want to do is bask in the heat, getting some color. Consider retiring to Boca.  Compatible with Bagel and Schmear, although you top them both.