Wings of Witness Begun
in 1997, Schrierís on-going WINGS of WITNESS assemblage, has been constructed with the assistance of over fifty thousand participants through artist residencies that Schrier conducts internationally at museums and educational institutions.
More then eleven million soda can tabs, weighing over six tons, are the primary source material of the work. The tabs, collected from every US State and eight countries, are intended to recognize the enormity of the loss of human life
resulting from the Nazi Holocaust. Working under Schrier's direction, volunteers help fabricate "feathers" from the tabs, which are then laid out in a massive butterfly shape, a reference to a poem written by the young Czechoslovak poet
Pavel Friedmann, who perished at Auschwitz. WINGS of WITNESS has been assembled as a work-in-progress at eight sites across the USA: Yeshiva University Museum, New York, 1997; The
Bremen Museum, Atlanta, GA, 1998; The Brandeis Bardin Institute, Simi Valley, CA, 1999; the Holocaust Museum Houston, TX, 2000; Ida Lee Park, Leesburg VA, 2001; Holocaust Memorial and Education Center of Nassau County, Glen Cove, NY, 2003; and the Katonah Museum of Art, 2005; as well as the Mahomet Seymour Junior High, Mahomet Illinois, 1997, where the tab collection originated.
Schrier was educated at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and California Institute of the Arts (LA).
At CALARTS he developed as a painter under
Emerson Woelffer, who challenged Schrier to create a year long series based on a double-two domino, resulting in Schrierís continuing fascination for working with mundane
objects in his art. After Schrier set up his first Manhattan studio, he also occupied a tenth century former Roman monastery on the island of Majorca, Spain, as a summer studio. Nearby, he assisted archeologist /artist
William Waldren, at his Earthwatch supported bronze age dig, an experience that cemented Schrierís interest in ancient culture. In his late twenties, during a period he was recording hundreds of his dreams, Schrier discovered, in LA street trash, a
Yiddish play dated 1879. Based on Mikketz, the biblical story of Joseph (dreamer and facilitator in the interpretation of the Pharaohís dreams), it is the same story that, at age thirteen, Schrier
read from the Torah to become a Bar Mitzvah. This synchronistic mystery subsequently propelled Schrier to utilize his art for the
investigation of his Jewish heritage.
Winged imagery is prevalent in Schrierís
treatment of biblical dreams, as well as in
earlier works. Presently, Schrierís NY studio is a WPA Lodge overlooking the Hudson River, where his thematic work
is strongly influenced by the
cycle of tides and seasonal changes.
Beginning in Los Angeles and continuing in New York, Schrier was an early
experimenter with copier
and laser printing in his work. Many of these works were exhibited in his first NY solo, Xerotica, at the Master Eagle Gallery, the vanguard gallery of Manhattanís Chelsea district, and in
survey exhibitions at the International Museum of Photography, Rochester, NY; The Canadian Center of Photography and Film, Toronto; New York State Museum, Albany; The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institute, New York;
Museo Electrographia, Cuenca, Spain; Bienale
Electrographia, Madrid and Barcelona. During this period Schrier constructed The Dreaming Self, by fusing heat transfers made from scans of himself, onto the bed sheets he had slept on during his most active period of dream inquiry. It was
first published by Science Digest for their focus on Sleep and Dreams, then again, for Pratt Graphics Print Review 20, accompanying Copy
Art, the Precedents, by William Larson. Schrier, whose Hebrew name is Yaacov, subsequently covered the sheets imprinted with the
thrashing figure of himself, with images of
Jacobís tunic that he appropriated from a fresco of the Dura Euuropos Synagogue, 3rd century, Syria. It was installed it for his first solo at the Yeshiva University Museum, Manhattan.
Schrierís other work of public note includes (beginning with most
A faculty member at Parsons School of Design from 1981-91, Schrier has lectured and
been artist in residence at Syracuse University and the State University of New York at Buffalo, and involved more than sixty thousand
participants in stages of his work through workshops presented at hundreds of other educational institutions including Northwestern University, Quinnipiac University, University
of South Florida-Gainsville, Loyola Marymount University, Hunter College, Lycee Fraqncais de NY.
Grants and foundation funding for Schrier's works that involve community participation and address social and environmental issues:
US Department of Defense Mediterranean District and the Vicenza
Community Club, Vicenza, Italy
2011, 2008, 2006, 2003: New York State Council on the Arts
2011, 2009, 2008, 2006: Arts Westchester
2009: Federal grant: Innovative Alternative Strategies For Educators of Visual
2008: Hudson River Healthcare
2005: George Blumenthal, LLC
2002, 2001: Steven Spielbergís Righteous Persons Foundation
2002, 2001: Foundation for Jewish Culture
2001: The Irwin Uran Gift Fund of Loudoun County, Virginia
2000: Brandeis-Bardin Institute
1999: Fulton County Arts Council, Atlanta, Georgia
1998: Anti-Defamation League, LA
1998: Coca Cola