International Cultural Center

JAMmArTt Reception with Artists: Th, Feb 21 from 7-9 p.m.

The International Cultural Center invites you to A workshop with the artists of Jews and Muslims Making Art Together
Jews and Muslims making Art together (JAMmARTt) is a project that came about as an idea of one person who reached out to another and another and eventually, with the help of the Muslim Community Center and Tikvat Israel synagogue the individuals bonded as a group. In 2008 they began to plan and develop the project. Their labor of love was completed in 2010. Currently on display at the ICC, we invite you to this workshop to interact with the artists and to learn how they used art to motivate social change.

The Art consists of seven free-standing structures. Each piece bears a mix of art and calligraphy that expresses the culture and values of Islam and Judaism, with a special focus on commonalities. When all seven pieces are placed in line, the art is designed to appear as a dome, a form important to both faiths.

Event Description
The JAMmARTt artists will share the history of how the project came to fruition, what they gained from the experience, and how they see the use of art as an important vehicle for expressing social harmony, pluralism and mutual respect. They will also field questions and feedback from the audience on their own experience with collaborative art or comments they wish to share on the idea.

“He who saves a single soul, it is as if he has saved an entire nation.” We are a group of Jewish and Muslim artists who came together in 2008 with the goal of forging interaction, re3spect and understanding between our communities. Most of us did not know each other before the project began. We met several times to brainstorm and ultimately decided upon the idea of providing a way for visitors, literally and figuratively, to see Jews and Muslims from another perspective.

The installation has no beginning or end, and it may be approached from any direction. The overall design is composed of seven geometric structures, the number seven being important symbolically both Judaism and Islam. The shapes move from each side toward the center, beginning with two-sided structures. As one goes toward the center, the shapes increase in complexity, representing the growth that occurs upon understanding and appreciating “otherness.” Individual panels that convey Jewish or Muslim religious values and culture are placed upon these structures. There are also shared panels that express common elements to both faith communities. One of the enlightening aspects for members of the group was the discovery of some of these shared values. The shared panels can be found on the interior side of each of the triangular structures, and on the central cylinder. The shared panel on the side of one triangle represents the similarity between the importance of the Five Pillars of Islam to Muslims and the Ten Commandments to Jews. The shared panel on the other triangle represents the oneness of God and celebrates houses of worship. The central structure displays the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the Kabba in Mecca, each respectively being the focus for the Jewish and Muslim prayer around the world. The calligraphy weaving through the paintings is found in both the Jewish Talmud and the Muslim Quran: “He who saves a single soul, it is as if he saved an entire nation.”

Betsy with fellow JAMmARTt Artists