Over the course of five years the interior of the Kehilla Synagogue on Grand Ave. has been transformed. It was an interesting process, akin to walking a labyrinth, sometimes the goal seemed just in sight only to become very far away again. We had many meetings. The process of making aesthetic decisions in groups was fascinating and I often felt like everyone else could think much faster than I could. People had so many opinions about what they wanted in the space and I often felt uncertain. Although I can be a very verbal person it took me a long time to put into words what I thought would work. In the end we came up with a design that works on many levels. The interior designer, Reni Aniela, who designed the paint scheme described it as "an embrace".
Another exciting part of the process was getting to meet and work with the other artists. Nechama Shaina Langer www.ketubah4two.com created the lettering on the back balcony. The phrase, selected by the spiritual leadership committee reads in Hebrew “The great shofar is sounded and a still, small voice is heard.” The words are painted beautifully. Each letter breathes and the colors harmonize with the other elements of the design.
Ed Kirshner, www.aurorasculpture.com created a lamp with xenon gas inside it for the ner tamid (eternal flame). He worked with the committee to design the shape, an amphora which was blown by glass artist, Pamina Traylor www.paminatraylor.com. The lamp was created from breath and its shape connects practical vessels for carrying liquids to something that carries light and spirit. The deep blue color blurs into the background and creates a visual field one can sink into. In an other twist of the creative process the original color was to be lighter but Ed realized this color would be more evocative and powerful. Again the artists' vision moved past what can be articulated verbally.
I look forward to celebrating with the community on March 21st.