Artistic Judaica

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The Merkaz—or Art Room—was a deliberate part of the building’s original plans, with its vaulted ceilings and location at the center of the Religious School. Over the years, precious graphic representations of our faith have been added to Solel’s walls and sanctuary, including such treasured works as:
  • 'La Flama' - a 14-foot tall stainless steel sculpture by the Jewish Mexican artist, Leonardo Nierman—welcomes everyone at our north entrance. By complete coincidence, it bears a remarkable resemblance to the Solel logo. Prior to installation at Congregation Solel, the sculpture resided in the outdoor garden at the Spertus Institute in Chicago. The sculpture is on long-term loan to Congregation Solel and was given to us in honor of Rabbi Moffic’s installation.
  • The handwoven Ark curtain by international fiber artist and pioneer, Leonore Tawney, is original to the building. Tawney’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The American Museum of Art and Craft in New York, and The Art Institute in Chicago. The artist described her design for the congregation this way: "The curtain is a veil which hangs between you and the mystery of the Holy Scrolls—not hiding but enhancing the mystery."
  • Days of Awe Torah mantles by acclaimed textile artist, Ina Gollub.
  • Master silversmith, Ludwig Wolpert, whose work appeared at the 1938 World’s Fair, created the Torah crowns. His work is credited with bringing acceptance to the use of new materials and modern design for traditional ritual objects.
  • The 13 bronze medallion bookplates hanging outside the library are by Bazalel School of Art and Craft founder, Boris Schatz (1867-1932). Schatz is honored not only for his own work but because he had a vision of a national Jewish art that would express, "...the soul of our people, felt in our prophets, in our customs, our rejoicing and our mourning." To fulfill his vision he founded the first school of the arts in Israel, the Bezalel School of Art and Craft.
  • A suite of 12 lithographs by Abraham Rattner (1895-1978) hangs in the lounge. His other works are in the collections of Chicago’s Art Institute, The Hirshhorn and the Phillips in Washington, The Whitney Museum in New York, and The Vatican Museum.
  • “The Creation” lithographs by the great Israeli artist, Mordechai Ardon, adorn the wall opposite the Chapel.