Artist Transforms Card Catalog into Art for a Digital Age

Exhibit to Feature New Work by Tobi Kahn

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

March 12, 2009, New York, NY

Thresholds, an exhibition of the art of Tobi Kahn, artist-in-residence at The Jewish Theological Seminary, will be on display in The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary from March 26–June 30. A gala opening will take place from 6:00–8:00 p.m. on March 25 at JTS, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City.

Highlighting the exhibit will be a site-specific work centered on an old card catalog cabinet that Kahn has transformed into an installation symbolizing the nexus of the riches of the past and a future that is always being invented. The gala will be preceded by an open house from 4:00-6:00 p.m., during which guests will be treated to an incomparable look at Passover through The Library's holdings of manuscripts, rare books, broadsides, and archival material, as well as its digital and video collections. A choice selection of items will be discussed by Library staff. The open house will also include a visit to the state-of-the-art conservation lab.

The theme of passages (thresholds) runs throughout the exhibit in such works as a series of paintings on Bein haShemashot, the time when day passes into evening, and ceremonial art used on Sabbaths and festivals and at life cycle events to mark the passage of time through the year and during an individual's lifespan. A major new painting to be shown for the first time expresses the artist's feelings on his mother's passing through the threshold of this world into the next. The exhibition was designed by the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA).

The first artist-in-residence at JTS, Kahn is a painter and sculptor whose work has been shown in more than forty solo exhibitions and sixty museum and groups shows, and is part of many major museum, corporate, and private collections. Persistent in his commitment to the redemptive possibilities of art, Kahn also communicates his vision through his passion for teaching. For twenty-eight years, he has taught fine arts workshops, designed art curricula for several New York high schools, and cofounded the Artists' Beit Midrash at the Skirball Center of Temple Emanu-El.

Kahn, who received an honorary doctorate from JTS for his work as an artist and educator, lectures internationally at universities and public forums on the importance of visual language and art as healing.

Thresholds celebrates the JTS Artist-in-Residence Program, which was launched last December to bring a greater awareness of art to JTS. Fifteen students, faculty, and staff are currently studying and creating their own works of arts with Kahn as their teacher. The program is sponsored by Chancellor Arnold M. Eisen, the master's program in Jewish Art and Visual Culture, and the Office of Student Life.

Information about the program is available by contacting Dr. Vivian Mann, director of the master's program in Jewish Art's and Visual Culture, at (212) 678-8892.

The community is invited to the gala opening. There is no charge but a photo ID and reservations are required by calling (212) 678-8839 or emailing. To RSVP to the open house, contact Hector Guzman. After March 25, Thresholds will be open to the public during regular Library hours. For information on The Library schedule, call (212) 678-8082.