Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116
URI Providence Campus Gallery to host
AVODA: Objects of the Spirit
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- October 9, 2002 -- The University of Rhode Island Providence Campus Gallery will host a national, traveling exhibition of Jewish ceremonial objects created by New York-based artist Tobi Kahn. The URI gallery, located at 80 Washington St., is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
The show runs Nov. 4 to Dec. 31. A gallery night reception will be held Nov. 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. Kahn will give a gallery talk at 7 p.m. for educators.
Entitled AVODA: Objects of the Spirit, the exhibition features a distinctive collection of objects fashioned by Kahn in his signature style -- organic, earthy, and totally committed to natural form.
For the past 20 years, Kahn has been making ceremonial objects that reveal an unusual intimacy between artistic and religious traditions. Many of the objects in the exhibition were made for his own familys festivities including his wedding canopy, a Seder plate, spice boxes, hand washing sets, special chairs for his daughters and naming ceremonies.
The artist himself, an observant Jew, says of the works in the exhibit: "Although Judaism has emphasized words, language, and commentary, I have found the visual elements of the tradition equally illuminating. For me, the life of the spirit is integrally bound up with the beauty of the world, with the rituals and the symbols that are a Jewish medium to transcendence. Like language, what we see can also be a benediction."
Kahns work has been shown in more than 40 solo exhibitions and 60 museum and group shows since he was selected as one of nine artists to be included in the 1985 Guggenheim Museum exhibition "New Horizons in American Art." Kahns paintings and sculptures have been the subject of an extensive bibliography in art magazines, catalogues and newspapers since the early 1980s.
In addition to bringing the exhibition to the state, the URI Providence Campus has arranged a companion education program. Kahn and a group of teaching artists will be conducting workshops in the state from Nov. 22 to 25 to help people create their own ritual objects. Kahn will be participating in events presented in collaboration with the Rhode Island Holocaust Memorial Museum, Bureau of Jewish Education, Brown Hillel and URI Hillel.
The following workshops will be held at the URI Providence Campus:
Nov. 22: High school students will participate in a workshop.
Nov. 24: Intergenerational workshop, held 12:30 - 3 p.m.
Nov. 24: URI and Brown University Hillel workshop, held 4:30 -7 p.m.
The exhibition was organized by the AVODA Arts Project, New York curated by Laura Kruger and circulated by Jill Vexler. Related education programming is made possible by generous funding from The Covenant Foundation.
For more information about the exhibit and educational programming, call Steven Pennell 277-5206.