Toni Franovic

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Tony Franovic was born in Zagreb on April 15, 1964. He is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, where he studied under Prof. Vasilije Jordan. In 1992/1993, he joined the Fine Arts Project in Arad, Israel. During the academic year of 1994/1995, he was an artist in residence at American University in Washington, D.C. In 1995, he became an assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb and is head of landscape painting field work in Legrad. Presently, he is a fine arts consultant at the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity of Los Angeles, as well as the center's representative for Europe. His works are found in collections in Europe and the United States including the U.S. Department of State, World Bank in Washington D.C., the E. L. Ritz Collection in Milwaukee, and numerous private collections. Numerous public buildings have his applied art and design, such as Ohr Kodesh Synagogue and Chapel, Greater Washington Area, and Central Department Store Nama and JCC Building in Zagreb, Croatia.

Toni Franovic is a true artist. His ideas come fast and furiously, often too fast for the rest of us to follow, with results that are highly imaginative, original and breathtaking. Happily, Franovic is creating an entire series of Judaica, including hand-cut crystal seder plates, kiddush cups of a variety of materials; mezzuzot of brass, bronze and ceramics; and handwoven linen tallitim with real gold thread. Franovic was able to track down an artisan to make gold thread as it was made long ago and a weaver able to weave it directly into the linen, although the techniques had been nearly lost. He found people who still know how to make hand-cut velvet and artisans who can make or repair rare sequined fabrics not seen outside museums. He has also searched museums to find fabrics that he is now able to reproduce and use in religious artifacts.

To the many artisans and artists Toni has found and befriended, he is a champion of rare and endangered art forms.

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