Clinic mourns passing of Jean Edelstein, long-time Venice Art Walk supporter and artist

May 25, 2022

Jean Edelstein, long-time Venice Family Clinic Art Walk & Auction supporter and noted artist, passed away May 9 at her home in Venice. She was 95.

Edelstein was a contributing artist to Venice Art Walk from the beginning, donating artworks to the auction every year for 43 years, as well as opening her studio to tours as part of the event. In 2008, she hosted a live performance art event at her studio, painting life-size images of dancers as they danced around the space. Her figurative and abstract works were inspired by the female body, spirituality and the betterment of the human condition.

“Through more than four decades of participation in Venice Art Walk, which raises funds for Venice Family Clinic and the vital services we provide to people in need, Jean showed unwavering support for our mission and a commitment to social justice,” said Elizabeth Benson Forer, CEO and executive director of the Clinic. “She lived the values she espoused, which were reflected in her art. Jean was a beloved member of our community, and we will miss her.”

Edelstein made her “Disaster Series” during the second half of the 1990s in response to human tragedies happening all over the world. She based her drawings of people on photographs that accompanied news stories on the conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Rwanda, and others.

“Although the imagery may be difficult to absorb, it is important to recognize the ongoing atrocities and show compassion for the millions of people who are suffering around the world,” Edelstein previously said. “All too often we forget that the disenfranchised or the disadvantaged could be our neighbors, our relatives or ourselves.”

Edelstein lived and worked in Venice, where she and her husband, Sy Edelstein, a graphic designer and photographer, had a home and studio for the past 40 years. She once said of her home, “I love Venice because I just don’t like living in an area that’s too tidy looking and where people are all the same. You know where you belong, and this is my place.”