Sanctuary Windows

Submitted by South Light Studio, Inc.

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Client: Temple Kol Emeth

Location: Marietta, GA, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $160,000

Project Team

Artist

Dale R. Molnar

South Light Studio, Inc.

Client

Rabbi Steven Lebow

Temple Kol Emeth

Overview

Design and install 18 stained glass windows for a Reform Jewish sanctuary in collaboration with the senior Rabbi responsible for the initial building of Temple Kol Emeth. Two walls of windows flank the assembly are to be figurative and purposed for beautification and learning. The 18 windows, each measuring 46” by 62” are organized in sets of three; 3 trios on the northeast side and 3 trios on the southeast side. Design and coordinate an additional ten windows to ameliorate the light streaming into the interior. Each of these windows is approximately 30” by 30”.

Goals

Since the building sits below street level and the assembly was uncomfortable with the ongoing traffic and other visual disturbances, a goal was to provide a window treatment that affords a fundamental sense of privacy while the availability of natural light remains. Glass choices regarding the density and saturation of color relates to the amount light entering the sacred space.
Thematic content is to be distinctly Jewish; incorporating a teaching aspect while avoiding graven images. The roles of both Rabbi and Cantor are to be supported.
An archetype was used to depict the human story; no facial features were added. Ten mosaic panels high above and behind the Ark recall those who have gathered before. The individual square mosaics were selected from the same glass used to depict the human figures below.
The cantorial side of nine panels presenting the Genesis account of creation as “The Song of G_d” speaks to the role of the Cantor who leads the community in prayer. The rabbinic side of nine panels reflecting “Relationships” to G_d, to Torah and to Israel speaks to the role of Rabbi as teacher and spiritual guide.

Process

A selection committee chose the artist who then worked directly with the Rabbi to develop the subject matter. Donors were given an opportunity to meet with the artist and personalize a panel. An example is the Shabbat panel; the donor family who uses an unmatched pair of candlesticks, each inherited from different grandparents wanted to incorporate this heirloom into the imagery. A scribe was consulted for the Hebrew script and discussed with the artist where “incompleteness” may be incorporated. Since only G-d is perfect, this tradition is important and should be evident in the work.

Additional Information

To view a slideshow with further descriptions: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vSwu4F9ZI8TnwRJBiAb-ozAPCJHx7h8SjU1-gmk_TpI-LuNjZFplI79ZKXUz04D5zoqVuhDDGpT_dNp/pub?start=true&loop=true&delayms=5000