My fascination with the art of calligraphy stems mainly from my love of the Hebrew alefbet and my desire to use it as a way to serve G@d and the world. As a Jewish artist, I work with an awareness and respect for Torah, poetry, visual art, and the discipline of lettering.
Soferet (ritual Hebrew scribe), artist, teacher, writer, speaker, and radio personality, Aviel Barclay is grounded in Judaism's mystical and Halakhic traditions.
In the summer of 2003, Aviel returned to Jerusalem where she completed her training as a Soferet with her two Orthodox mentors. Following her certification, she began writing Megilot Esther and is currently writing a Sefer Torah.
Aviel currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from where she teaches Hebrew calligraphy, midrash on the alefbet, and the kabbalah of the letters.
Aviel has been making Judaica professionally since 1994, starting out as a member of the Fairbank Calligraphy Society, then branching into block printing and woodcarving. After attending both the Victoria College of Art and the Camosun College Fine Arts program, she studied the craft of book binding under Ken Vinson, then freelanced for the next three years experimenting with her knowledge of graphic design in the process. Aviel then spent a year in Israel studying drawing and painting with Lawrence Marcuson and learning sofrut, the art of the Jewish scribe, privately from a Sofer ST"M and noted Judaic artist in Jerusalem. She has since studied watercolour painting from Jim Wispinski as well as multimedia from Pnina Granirer and now incorporates these skills in her artwork.
Aviel has participated in both solo and group shows in Canada, Israel, and the United States, and her ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts) have been featured in the Israeli journal Oren. Her art and designs can be found in private collections across North America, including those of Rabbis Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Shefa Gold.
The ability to create, to bring ideas, images and materials to interact cohesively and take form as a whole, is a privilege as well as another opportunity to emulate and thereby draw closer to G@d. This bridges the gap between conception and experience. I take great pride and pleasure in finding new ways to express our traditions through my work and in giving shape to an author's words and spirit while adding my own personal vision.