Temple Beth Shalom
Cherry Hill, NJ
Finalist – Mosaic Arts International Exhibition
BONNIE COHEN’S WORK SELECTED FOR PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY MOSAIC ART
The Society of American Mosaic Art (SAMA) has selected work by Bonnie Cohen, to be included in this year’s Mosaic Arts International, an annual juried exhibition of the best in contemporary mosaic art. The exhibition takes place at the Lexington Center Museum and Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky, March 1 through April 30, 2012.
“This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to view outstanding examples of mosaic art from around the world in one venue, to allow the audience to experience the exciting ways that artists are utilizing this ancient art form with a modern and contemporary approach,” said Shug Jones, President of the SAMA Board of Trustees. “These artists are using both traditional and non-traditional materials to really propel the art form to a degree unseen in recent history.”
Ms. Jones adds, “We invite the public to attend. This show is impressive in every respect. We are very excited to introduce Lexington’s enthusiastic arts community to such well-known mosaicists from around the world. It’s a wonderful opportunity to offer an intimate look at a very textural art form that really must be seen in person to experience the full resonance of its’ beauty and depth of meaning.”
Bonnie Cohen’s artwork, entitled “Acts of Loving Kindness” is a dimensional wall sculpture that is 6ft high by 12ft long and made of recycled glass tiles, stone and handmade tiles. Bonnie re-interpreted Judaic symbols into a contemporary design for Temple Beth Sholom in Cherry Hill, NJ, which commissioned the artwork to pay tribute to congregants who have performed “acts of loving kindness” for their congregation. The artwork will be represented photographically in the exhibition.
MAI features the work of 56 mosaic artists from 24 different states in the US, as well as from Turkey, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa and Israel. A vast array of material such as smalti, glass, ceramic, and metal are featured within the works of these artists. The exhibit includes 2 dimensional, 3 dimensional, and architectural works. Prizes totaling $5,000 will be awarded for the best in each of these categories as well as for ‘Best in Show’.
MAI is a highly competitive annual exhibition that unites innovative design and masterful technique as explored by some of the best international artists working in the medium.
Temple Beth Shalom Donor Recognition Project Artist Statement
Acts of Loving-kindness are the three pillars upon which the world is built”
These meaningful words from rabbinic sages were the inspiration for the donor recognition artwork for Temple Beth Shalom. Judaism encourages people to reach out and help those in need. By performing these actions, we can help make the world a better place to live.
Temple Beth Shalom brings people together to pray, to learn, to celebrate holidays, and to perform acts of loving-kindness. When life presents us with challenges, we gain strength, courage and comfort from our caring community. Even the smallest act of loving-kindness can make a difference in someone’s life and those acts of loving-kindness create the underlying theme and energy for this artwork.
The quote that will be featured on the donor wall, “Let them build me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them” comes from the Torah portion that describes the building of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that G-d commanded the Jews to build. Among the many specific instructions given to Moshe, there was a detailed description of the Menorah. Today the Menorah is still the most recognizable Jewish symbol and that is why it was chosen as the starting point for this design.
This artwork emerged from a stylized image of a Menorah combined with the Hebrew letter “shin” at its center. The “shin” begins the word “Shaddai”, one of the names of God. This is to acknowledge that God’s presence and his gift of Torah is at the center, the heart, of all we do on earth. Our acts of loving-kindness make it possible for Him to dwell among us.
The Menorah and the shin contain the colors described in the Torah portion: blues, purples reds, and gold. The mosaic artwork contains predominately recycled mosaic glass tiles as well as unique handmade tiles. The artwork comes alive with action by reconfiguring the symbols and putting them in motion to create a unique and individual design full of creative expression, excitement, luminosity, and inspiration.
There is inspiration in seeing new ways to interpret our sacred symbols. The names of the generous donors, whose names will be part of this exciting wall, have taken action to make sure that their children will continue to fulfill God’s commandments by studying Torah, praying together and performing acts of loving-kindness in the caring community that is Temple Beth Shalom.