shadow boxes and
chagim houses express
her love for yiddishkeit.
or Rifcah Krolikowski's
twin daughters' sixth
birthday, the Oak Park
artist helped them and
their friends draw pictures. Then,
she shepherded the group to
Menorah House in Southfield, to
distribute artwork to the elderly
"Birthdays aren't just about
getting," says Krolikowski, for
whom virtually everything is
about art. "Art is an integral part
of how my children view yid-
She makes mezuzah covers,
photo collages, paintings and
shadow boxes, or chagim houses,
which represent Jewish holidays.
Buttons, fabric, paint, candles,
greeting cards, silk flowers and
more come together in artistic
renditions of Jewish living.
Krolikowski grew up a "mili-
tary brat," in many cities. In the
early '80s, her parents, Jayne and
Marty Highton, settled in San
Diego. They are artists who make
oak tables inlaid with the wings of
"I was born an artist," says
Krolikowski. "My mother said I
was born with a paintbrush in my
mouth, not a silver spoon."
At 8 years old, she won a con-
test, with a drawing representing
her feelings for her mother.
Krolikowski's creation landed on
the front page of the Long Beach
Independent. Press Telegram.
That was a turning point.
So was a stay in Israel after
high school, as part of the
National Seminar in Israel for
Young Artists. She fell in love
with the country, scaring her par-
ents, who had little involvement
But Krolikowski was deter-
mined to return — after college in
California., after she became reli-
gious, after she met her husband,
Yitzhak. The pair made aliyah six
years ago, but they decided to
move back to the United States
six months ago to be closer to
Since 1998, Krolikowski sold
BY LYNNE MEREDITH SCHREIBER
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN LIPPITT
I 0 • DECEM 13 ER 2002 • STYLE AT "1' E JN
nearly 15 paintings, 30 chagim
houses, more than 50 photo col-
lages and 40 mezuzah covers.
The houses require 45 hours of
work; customers pay $90-$300,
depending on the amount of
Already, her art is taking off
here. Esther's and Tradition!
Tradition! sell her creations, and
she leads crafts workshops for
Menorah House residents.
Ultimately, art brings out her love
"For chagim, I make huge
posters for my family. Our Pesach
seder really comes alive — I built
a diorama that we use every year,"
she says. "My love for yiddishkeit
comes out through my art."