Organizations are gifting Hanukkah and Shabbat to the community
By Deb Silverthorn
A Hanukkah gift is coming early to the community in the form of an exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Collaborating with the Texas Jewish Arts Association (TJAA) and Thanks-Giving Foundation’s Interfaith Council, the Arboretum will feature its first-ever Artistry of Faith and Culture exhibit, highlighting Hanukkah and Shabbat, from Nov. 9 to Dec. 31 in its DeGolyer House. Submissions for the exhibit are due Sept. 1.
“There is so much purpose and passion in Judaica, in our art and heirlooms, and the talent and collections in our community are phenomenal. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to share it with the guests of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens,” said Kimberly Kort, Texas Jewish Arts Association president. Kort and Monica Daucourt, TJAA vice president, reached out to Mary Brinegar, the Arboretum’s president and CEO, and Dustin Miller, senior director of Experience and Innovation, to recommend a joint effort.
“Through art comes care, compassion and education,” said Kort, a member of Temple Shalom. “And through all its form and fashion we are certain this experience, which brings Hanukkah and Shabbat to the Arboretum for the very first time, will be something to remember.”
The new seasonal exhibit, beginning Nov. 9, will be open each day, and Monday through Wednesday evenings, and will feature Christmas and Kwanzaa in addition to the two Jewish holidays.
Texas residents over the age of 18, artists and those with Judaica collections or individual pieces, exhibiting diverse faiths and cultures specifically relating to Hanukkah and Shabbat, are invited to participate. The call for entry includes artwork; musical audio files; heirloom items of 3D, 2D, Judaica art; textiles: table linens, embroidery, challah covers; Kiddush cups; Shabbat candlesticks; glass artifacts; menorahs; dreidels; and tapestries large and small. A QR code will be displayed near any item that has a story, family name or anecdote to share.
“Thousands of guests visit the Arboretum each year at this time and we’re so happy to share the beautiful holiday and traditions of Hanukkah and Shabbat through art, music, books — with [whatever] and however we all celebrate and decorate our dining tables and homes,” said Daucourt. She is the daughter of Betty and Jay Lorch, a J.J. Pearce High School graduate and former BBYO Ginny Weinstein chapter member who was raised at Temple Emanu-El. “If someone has a collection of dreidels or menorahs or whatever it might be, those can be submitted as one item,” she added.
All items must be submitted, first in jpg format or other appropriate attachment, to the Texas Jewish Arts Association through its Café link (see below). A committee will review and jury the items and then submit them, for final decision, to a committee including the Arboretum’s Dennis Miller and holiday designer Michael Hamilton, TJAA’s Kort and Daucourt, Pan-African Connection owner Akwete Tyehimba, Thanks-Giving Foundation Interfaith Council Chair Almas Muscatwalla and former Dallas City Council member Kevin Felder.
“Every year we change the exhibit in the DeGolyer House, and we were thrilled to hear from Kim and Monica and to create something we know will be very special. We are so happy to engage the Jewish community, to also include the Ismaili Muslim faith and to widen the experience in general,” said Miller. He added that the Arboretum is looking forward to representing “the diverse experience of winter holidays celebrated in the Dallas area with this year’s exhibit.”
Cost to have items considered for the exhibit is $25 for TJAA members, and $35 for nonmembers. Opportunities to sell items on display can be arranged through TJAA leadership.
Kort, Daucourt and their board look forward to the event as well as many others that they are planning for the coming year, including rotating works of art at the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas Jacob Feldman building.
“Art is a thread that binds cultures and allows us all to express our voice. Art transcends all lines,” said Daucourt.
To register for the Artistry of Faith and Culture exhibit, visit tinyurl.com/TJAA-arboretum-submissions and for more information about TJAA, visit texasjewisharts.org.