The focus of Jane Weintraub’s work is ritual and mythology. As a trained metalsmith/jeweler, she makes objects that look at ceremony and spirituality and reinterprets these notions with contemporary and sometimes non-traditional materials.
Weintraub fabricates both functional and nonfunctional work. The functional work she creates relates to Jewish practice and tradition and speaks to issues of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism. Among these objects, she has created a Havdallah set (finalist, 1998 Spertus Award cycle), tzedakah box, yadayim, mezuzzot, Kiddush cups, Shabbat candleholders, and Hanukkiah to name a few. Her non-functional small sculptures explore what she calls "ambiguous narratives." These sculptures can take the form of landscapes, objects, or figures and are imbued with a sense of ritual, mystery or magic. She has used global architecture, mythology, and tribal objects from around the world as the departure points for her own stories. The common thread running through all of Jane Weintraub’s work is an abiding interest in narrative.
Weintraub received a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin/Madison and since then, has been teaching in higher education and exhibiting her art work both nationally and locally. Recently she retired from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago where she is a professor emerita and was in charge of the metalsmithing and jewelry area of the Art Department. She is now happily creating work in her studio full time. She lives and works in Highland Park, Illinois.