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Ark Wall Design Concept for Anshe Hesed

“Spread Over Us Your Shelter of Peace”

 

The new sanctuary at temple Anshe Chesed makes on feel like they are being  sheltered beneath a tent. My inspiration for the design came from the words of the Hashkivenu prayer “Spread over us the shelter of your peace.” That prayer reminds us that we are surrounded by miracles and blessings in our lives and I knew those words would add a spiritual dimension to the striking architecture of the room. I incorporated colored shards of the vintage stained-glass from the original building  into the mosaic art to honor the rich history of the congregation.

My design is a stylized, sculptural Hebrew letter shin - the first letter of God’s name (Shaddai). The shin also begins the word for Peace (Shalom). The curved strokes of the Hebrew letter evoke the feeling of the comforting embrace of the Anshe Hesed community. The ark door slides beneath the mosaic art, becoming a metaphor for God’s sheltering wings.

 

The glass mosaic was created from thousands of pieces of hand-cut, luminous, transparent and 100%recycled white glass.

I wanted the mosaic art to be a contemplative and sacred focal point for all those who gather to pray in this place. The calming palette and the ever-changing effect of light on the luminous glass will make prayer, study and song an inspirational experience.

The heart and soul of the Anshe Hesed community is its members. This beautiful new structure shelters, nourishes, protects and enhances this community. When God commanded Moses to build the mishkan, the portable ark, the Torah says that everyone whose heart lifted him up came and made an offering. This building is the result of all your dedicated hearts who have lifted you all to this moment. I thank you all for the honor of allowing me to create this artwork for your Anshe Hesed community.