About the Artist

Ginny Reel

Miscellaneous Facts

Until the age of 14, I lived in Austin, Texas. At 14, I moved to San Francisco where I attended School of the Arts High School. I attended summer programs at the SF Art Institute and Cal-Arts. I then attended Middlebury College first majoring in costume design and then changing to Women's Studies (thesis was on Robots and Gender in Pop Culture and how they reflect our attitudes about gender & technology).

If you are wondering if you know me, you just might. I’ve lived in Vermont, Kibbutz Tuval in Israel, New York City, Philadelphia, Jerusalem, Tucson, Cleveland, South Lake Tahoe, and as of summer 2011, Charlotte, North Carolina. If you do know me and you're wondering how life is, I'm doing well, love being a mom, and still don't like snow; Jon Freirich (my husband) is still a rabbi (see what he's up to on his blog jewishand.org) and working for Temple Beth El in Charlotte, NC; Jude (my son) is growing like a weed and is smarter and more amazing than expected; Sadie (my beautiful new daughter) has just learned to smile and is working on mastering being a baby. Feel free to look me up on Facebook - if I know you, chances are I would love to reconnect!

If I had to write a six-word autobiography for my life so far, it would be “Raised by hippies, married a rabbi.”

I live and work in Charlotte, NC. If you are in the area, contact me to schedule an in-home studio visit. I am an espresso fanatic and will make you a really great cappuccino.

Tree of Life ketubah with a custom text in Hebrew and English. 60" x60" acrylic collage on canvas.

Tree of Life ketubah with a custom text in Hebrew and English. 60" x60" acrylic collage on canvas.

How I got into this niche business

I got started making ketubot In 1996, when I made my own ketubah, Tree of Life. I didn't know any Hebrew or calligraphy, so I made a collage by cutting up our text and numbering the slips of paper, then gluing them to a large canvas.

Shortly after the wedding, we moved to Israel to study at Hebrew University. Between graduate seminars in International Relations, the History and Culture of the Modern Middle East, and Hebrew and Arabic classes, I sneaked in painting.

At the end of two years, we returned to the USA, and while I was supposed to be writing my master's thesis on the Modern Middle East (the intersection between gender, militarism, and national identity in Israel), I spent all my time painting. Before long, friends and acquaintances asked me to do their ketubot and I united a life-long fascination with illuminated manuscripts and my livelihood.

At first, I didn't know what I was doing, so I gave myself a year to learn the necessary skills, charged very little for those who would hire me, until I got to the point where I felt confident enough in the quality of my work. For many years after that, I took on custom commissions.

In 2012, I began offering prints and expanded my skills to include a variety of digital design methods. My designs are a combination of painted elements and digitally manipulated elements, the balance sometimes shifting mostly one direction or another.