Debra Sokolow is a native California artist, best known for her drawings and paintings. Her compositions reflect an abstract and spiritual form of expression where the process is as important as the product. Whether drawing or painting at a site or in the studio, Sokolow finds inspiration from nature, humanity and the urban environment. Her compositions range from realism to abstract expressionism, as she explores color, form and space, spirituality and the illusion of light.
As an arts educator, she founded the architecture and design program at a local school providing cutting edge design education to middle and high school students. The students applied design skills to real world solutions, while raising their artistic consciousness by fostering awareness and responsibility for our natural resources and environment.
Sacred spaces are at the heart of her research of architectural sites and spaces. Following her essay on the comparisons of the Shinto and Jewish cultures, she was awarded the Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship. With this award, she traveled to Japan with a diverse group of American teachers to share ideas on educational reforms.
Sokolow has continued her artwork throughout her career in education. She was commissioned to create the wall for the Holy Ark in the Beit Midrash on the middle school campus, which led to the formation of a community project. She selected a team of 12 students from grades 7 through 12 to design a sacred space. The project included collaboration with other educators and her former architecture students. This ambitious project involved over 250 people placing pieces of glass mosaics to form the 22’ wall for the Holy Ark representing the seven species as written in Deuteronomy. Visit the mosaics in the Sacred Art gallery for community projects.
Sokolow exhibits her artwork regularly and remains active in community minded organizations. She is a member of Women Painters West, Thousand Oaks Art Association, Jewish Artists Initiative Southern California Board of Directors, and the Arts Council of the Conejo Valley Board of Directors.