Sima Elizabeth Shefrin, Artist and Illustrator

Sima Elizabeth ShefrinArtist’s Statement

My career began when I played as a toddler in the galleries of Italy, and I have been creating art ever since. As well as occasional curating, I have been working as a visual artist for 40 years, and have exhibited throughout North America, particularly in the area of community arts. 

I am interested in the ways that art brings together people of different cultures. I've facilitated quilt and banner projects in schools, libraries and community centres. In the last few years I have ventured into children’s book illustration, and have been able to work multiculturally in that context as well. Books I have illustrated include "Abby's Birds" by Ellen Schwartz (Tradewind 2006), "Latkes" by Bob Bossin (Nick Books 2007), "Once Upon a Bathtime" by Vi Hughes (Tradewind 2010) and Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts by Jane Yolen (Tradewind 2012). My most recent project is a comic for adults called “The Embroidered Cancer Comic” (Jessica Kingsley 2016).

I created the Middle East Peace Quilt in 1999 because  I wanted to break out of some of the rigid exchanges about Israel and Palestine and try something different. Through a workshop I teach called “Stitching for Social Change; the Use of Fabric to Build a Better World”, I am familiar with the effectiveness of those projects in which women and men have stitched their way towards a better world. From traditional quilts to banners around the Pentagon, from the small determined arpilleras of Chile, to miles of memorial quilts for people who have died of AIDS, activists have used fabric to put their heartfelt beliefs in the public eye. I decided to join them with a project of my own.

When the Middle East Peace Quilt was complete it toured North America.  Whenever possible I accompanied it, and spoke about its creation and about the idea of working for peace, justice and security for both Palestinians and Israelis. (Have a look at a short video documentary on the quilt exhibition in Toronto, Canada.)   I am grateful to all the people who organized exhibits of the Quilt, and to the many who have shared their stories with me.

All the work on this site is available for travel. Please get in touch if you want to arrange an exhibit.  And I invite you to find out more about me and my art work at my personal web site,

Sima Elizabeth Shefrin, Artist/Coordinator, Middle East Peace Quilt