A visual arts event of understanding multi-cultural and inter-religious differences is reflected through in art. Plano Texas is home to a new Jewish Temple, Nishmat Am located on the same block as a Mosque and a Catholic Church at the corner of Custer and Independence. The close proximity of these three houses of worship is an example of the multiethnic and inter-religious nature of the people.
Ten north Texas artists known “Just Art”, happen to work right across the street at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. The artists decided to welcome the newcomers in the same spirit they were welcomed when they moved to Plano to work, and donate a multi-cultural artwork to the new temple.
The group of artists have very diverse ethnic and religious traditions. They have members that are Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Methodists and Agnostics. They have roots in Israel, India, Columbia, Italy, New York, Utah, Wisconsin and Texas.
The artists will be gifting the Temple a multi paneled work of art that shows their varied visions and techniques, expressing a single theme. This artwork centers on lighting the “Shabbat” candles- the ceremonial that takes place on Friday nights in Jewish homes all over the world. Shabbat, the Hebrew word for Saturday, the day of rest is an expression of unity, family, tradition, honor, and respect for ones faith. The work of art celebrates this tradition with images common to the ceremonial Friday night meal. The artists chose candles, Challah bread and a wine goblet to express their understanding and respect of the traditions of Shabbat.
The style of each of these fifteen 12″ x 12″ canvases is as varied as the artists that created them. The art works range from classically representational art to abstract paintings. The small artworks are made using oil or acrylic paints. The canvases, while all are the same 12′ by 12″ dimensions, vary from 1 inch to 2 1/2″ in depth giving the art work a more three dimensional look. The eighteen canvases will be bolted together to form an overall abstract form as they spread across the wall at the Temple.
The artists will present the work to the new congregation on December 17, 2006 at the dedication ceremony. The artists will be present to discuss their art work at the reception.