‘Light: Re­li­gious and Sec­u­lar’ works on view at JCC

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - MUSIC - STAFF RE­PORT

The artists in­cluded in “Light: Re­li­gious and Sec­u­lar,” the new ex­hibit at the Jewish Cul­tural Cen­ter, have found myr­iad ways to im­bue their works with light.

“This ex­hibit was cre­ated as way for both re­li­gious and sec­u­lar peo­ple to be­gin to cel­e­brate the di­ver­sity of light this sea­son,” says ex­hibit cu­ra­tor Ann Tread­well, pro­gram di­rec­tor for the Jewish Fed­er­a­tion of Greater Chat­tanooga.

She notes that Hanukkah, the Jewish “Fes­ti­val of Lights,” be­gins the evening of Dec. 24, this year. The fes­ti­val is ob­served by the kin­dling of lights on the menorah for eight nights.

“Light: Re­li­gious and Sec­u­lar” will run through Fri­day, Dec. 16.

The in­vi­ta­tional ex­hibit fea­tures art in all me­dia by 18 artists from Ge­or­gia, Mas­sachusetts, Mis­souri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Ten­nessee. Seven are from the greater Chat­tanooga area.

Pho­tog­ra­pher Tom Cory of Chat­tanooga con­trib­uted “Dawn, the Ice­berg La­goon (Ice­land).”

“The com­bi­na­tion of dawn light, mov­ing wa­ter and ice cre­ated a truly re­mark­able scene,” he re­calls. “By us­ing a long ex­po­sure, I at­tempted to cre­ate an im­age that im­plied both the beauty of mov­ing wa­ter and the soft light of dawn. The ice­bergs in the back­ground had a beau­ti­ful light blue tone, adding an­other di­men­sion to the mix of light, color and move­ment to this fas­ci­nat­ing scene.”

Gabrielle Mizrachi-Mallin of Toledo, Ohio, who spe­cial­izes in Ju­daic 3-D dig­i­tal col­lage and ke­tubah (Jewish cer­e­mo­nial) art, has ti­tled one of her works “A Great Mir­a­cle Hap­pened There.”

“In this art piece, the liq­uid back­ground, a sym­bol of the spilled sa­cred oil, re­flects the dra­matic sky at dawn, re­mind­ing us to never give up hope that, with each new day, our Cre­ator lis­tens and an­swers our prayers,” she ex­plains in her artist state­ment. “The fire be­low the eight an­cient oil lamps rep­re­sents the mirac­u­lous flame that con­tin­ued to burn, keep­ing alive the hopes of the Jewish peo­ple. Deep within the cen­ter lays a red pool, rep­re­sent­ing the blood of the coura­geous Mac­cabees who valiantly sub­dued their op­pres­sors. In each cor­ner, heav­enly blue He­brew let­ters, Nun, Gimel, Hay, Shin — acronyms for the [Hanukkah] phrase ‘Nays Gadol Hayah Sham,’ ‘A Great Mir­a­cle Hap­pened There,’ stand as re­minders for us to open our own eyes to the daily mir­a­cles and bless­ings that God be­stows upon each of us ev­ery day.”

Flora Rose­fky of At­lanta also chose a re­li­gious ref­er­ence for her “Bride Queen.”

“For many, the Shab­bat (day of rest) be­gins at a pre­scribed time be­fore sun­down each Fri­day when we light the Shab­bat can­dles,” she says. “Shab­bat has a strongly fem­i­nine con­nec­tion, per­ceived as be­ing both a bride for her beauty, yet also seen metaphor­i­cally as a queen for her rules. In my dream­like vi­sion, the Sab­bath Bride Queen floats into one’s home or the syn­a­gogue, mak­ing us slow down and per­haps help­ing us to ap­pre­ci­ate that mo­ment of ho­li­ness and light when she en­ters our life.”

Gallery hours are 9 a. m.- 5 p.m. Mon­day through Thurs­day and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Fri­days or by ap­point­ment. The gallery will be closed to­day and Fri­day, Nov. 24-25.

“The Hope of Be­ing Heard” by Gabrielle Mizrachi-Mallin

CON­TRIB­UTED PHO­TOS

“Let There Be Light” by Kem Alexan­der

“Bride Queen” by Flora Rosef­sky

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