Artist Profile: Maya Gelfman and Roie Avidan

If you google “Mind the Heart,” you will find an about page that describes “a worldwide art project by Israeli artists Maya Gelfman & Roie Avidan.” The project, which began in 2009, has led these two artists all over the world and throughout the United States, where they have created dozens of murals and works in public spaces. As interesting as this sounds, it wasn’t this website or even this description of the project that brought me into the world of Mind the Heart!

I first met Maya and Roie in 2017 when they were embarking on the most concentrated portion of the project: a year-long commitment to living intentionally and completely in the present, going wherever the next commision and their van (Woody) would take them. One of these commissions happened to be a mural on the side of my mother’s office building, so Maya and Roie spent the week living in my house. 

I was a senior in high school, applying to Davidson, and the concept of living so completely in the present, with so little thought for the future, could not have been more foreign to me. Their way of seeing the world, success, art, and social change turned the pressure of the linear college process on its head. 

Since then, Maya and Roie’s work has led them back through Atlanta and through my life several more times. The most recent visit, at the start of this summer, gave me a deeper understanding of their work and the way that their vision of the world is reflected in everything they do. 

Since returning to Davidson I have tried to keep this perspective in mind. So often we get caught up in the pressure of doing and showing. Mind the Heart! seeks to remind us that the way that we do work and the relationships that are built around and out of that work are as crucial as the work itself. 

Further proving Maya and Roie’s point that “serendipity is a powerful force,” they will be speaking in the Wall Atrium, next Monday the 7th at 5:30pm. I hope that this introduction and the pieces and descriptions submitted by the artists below encourage you to come hear them speak. 

Alyssa Tirrell ‘22, Arts and Culture Editor 

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