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Animating Across Generations 

Artist Alex Salsberg Uses His Work to Spark Joy and Connections

By Jewish Arts Collaborative

Published Jun 26, 2024



This Curation is part of Community Creative Fellowship.

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Alex Salsberg’s work as an animator has allowed him to work across a variety of industries and create impactful messages for hospitals, local businesses, and even celebrities. His 2024 Community Creative Fellowship gave him the impetus to jump into a new kind of work, illuminating his own Jewish upbringing and identity.

Alex explained that his early Jewish experience is close to inseparable from the growth of his creativity; “As a kid, stories and traditions learned at home and at Hebrew school made their way into my work as a budding cartoonist. As I grew into an animator and filmmaker, Jewish culture, humor and the characters I observed within my Jewish community played a big role in my storytelling. Jewish writers, entertainers, and animators were a big influence on me as well. 

Growing up in the suburbs of Boston, my Jewish experience was limited to my own bubble of mostly 

American diaspora Jews of European descent. In the past several years my perspective has vastly 

Widened since the fall of 2021, I’ve spent about 50% of my time in Tel Aviv. There, I’ve been immersed in a diverse Jewish community that includes people of all ethnicities, denominations, and backgrounds, including immigrants from every continent. The conversations and experiences I’ve had within my growing circles there have completely expanded my definitions of Jewish culture and the Jewish experience. 

I create animated films to tell stories. In my personal work, I explore family, growing up, emotions, and mental health. I do this through both fictional narrative work and documentary work. I am very interested in the interplay between visual animation and audio, whether it be the intricacies of a conversation or the story arc of a musical track. 

I approach animation with playfulness. While planning is inherent in filmmaking, especially for longer films, I find that allowing for experimentation and improvisation at every stage in the production leads to the most honest, joyful, and human results.

I often bring mixed media elements into my work, including painting, collage, 3D, and stop-motion. I find animation shines when it is deeply collaborative. When I direct larger teams of animators, I welcome their ideas and sensibilities and let those influence the final piece.

I also love collaborating with unique artists and illustrators to enhance the mixed-media feel of my work. This is true as well of the audio component in fictional work, I allow the voice actors to embody and develop their characters, and composers to bring their perspectives to the music that helps tell the story. In documentary work, I let the conversations lead, rather than the other way around.

In my creative work moving forward, I hope to continue to experiment with the possibilities of animation, collaborate in new ways, and to explore the audio component even more deeply.”  

Alex spent his fellowship in residency at Hebrew Senior Life, interviewing multigenerational pairs and turning that footage into an animated documentary. The process of capturing footage allowed Alex to take a unique role in the process, “Turning conversations into a film has surprised me. I’ve had an opportunity for the first time to take a backseat in the dialogue and focus on listening and creating.”

Alex’s hope for the film is that it serves as a representation and celebration of the viewer’s own intergenerational relationships.

Take a look at the clip below, a touching story of friendship between Caroline and Diana.

Stay tuned for the full film, coming soon.


JArts’ mission is to curate, celebrate, and build community around the diverse world of Jewish arts, culture, and creative expression. Our vision is of a more connected, engaged, and tolerant world inspired by Jewish arts and culture.

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