Sunday, January 26, 2014

Exodus 9: Legacy Thrones

Ki Tisa/When you take (Exodus 30:11-34:35)

See, I have selected Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with divine spirit, with wisdom, understanding and knowledge, and with talent for all type of craftsmanship. (Exodus 31:2, 3)
I have assigned to him Oholiav son of Ahisamakh of the tribe of Dan, and I have endowed the hearts of every naturally talented person with wisdom. (Exodus 31:6)

The names of Bezalel and Oholiav, the Tabernacle artists, give us insight into the contemporary transition from modern to postmodern art.   
Bezalel ben Uri ben Hur literally means “In the Divine Shadow son of Fiery Light son of Freedom." 

It symbolizes the modern sensibility of relating art to individual passion and free expression.
Oholiav ben Akhisamach means “My Tent of Reliance on Father, Son, and My Brother."

It symbolizes the postmodern collaborative enterprise of constructing an intergenerational structure shared by a community. 
Bezalel’s name represents the psychology of the creative artist and Oholiav’s name describes the sociology of collective creativity.

Bezalel and Oholiav were not only endowed with artistic talent, but also with talent to teach others to be artistic collaborators. (Exodus 30:34) 
We created the Legacy Thrones project as an exemplary model of intergenerational collaboration and postmodern art education.

Elders representing ethnic communities of Miami and our art students collaborated with us in creating three monumental works of public art.
Talented young people worked with elders from the Jewish, Hispanic and African-American communities to create Legacy Thrones.

Through aesthetic dialogue, valued traditions were transformed into artistic statements of enduring significance.
Together, young and old hands shaped wet clay into colorful ceramic relief elements collaged onto three towering thrones constructed from steel and concrete.

Facing Biscayne Bay, each twenty-foot high, two-ton throne visually conveys the stories of the three largest ethnic communities of Miami.