Glass artist Tim Todd of T2 Glass was recently commissioned by the Mace Adams Memorial Fund, SiNaCa Studios School of Glass, to commemorate its first grant project with Ann & Nate Levine Academy in Dallas.
Mace Adams, who died suddenly in 2011, was a teacher at Levine Academy and a member of the Founding Committee for SiNaCa Studios. He was also Tim Todd’s beloved partner, and was himself a very accomplished glass artist.
The concept for the project, “The Twelve Tribes of Israel – Levine Style,” came from Levine Head of School, Mark Stolovitsky who suggested the project be inspired by the Chagall Windows displayed in the Abbell Synagogue at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. The Chagall Windows are Marc Chagall’s representation of the 12 tribes of Israel and are designed with stained glass.
Tim sought the advice of artist/painter Sidney Torres, who after studying the Chagall Windows, provided a list of the major colors used in the individual art panels. The color listing was then translated into a color palate that the students and faculty used to design individual fused glass tiles measuring approximately two inches by two inches.
The designs were created in a series of workshops held in the art studio at Levine Academy. Students in grades four through eight and Levine Academy faculty designed the tiles over a three-day span of 12 workshops, each session representing one individual Tribe of Israel.
Each gathering began with a description and discussion led by art teacher Wendy Cramer. The discussion included information on the assigned Tribe, quoted blessings and details such as the gem designations and descriptions of the Tribe’s flag.
Each designing student was also provided a picture of that session’s Chagall Window, and a picture of the original painted study by Chagall that led to the stained glass version. The students were provided with a supply of glass tiles and glass materials (glass frit of various sizes and colors, glass stringers of various colors) that were selected by Torres.
They were then asked to design their individual tiles based on their interpretation of the colors they saw in the Chagall Window, or painted study for their specified Tribe.
The finished tiles were transported from Levine Academy to Tim Todd’s private studio in Fort Worth, first to be fused as individual tiles, then fused again onto a base sheet of clear glass, approximately 22 inches by 22 inches, to represent the individual tribe.
Vertical accent “stripes” were added to each base glass to distinguish between the individual tribes.
The glass panels will be installed in a “grid” of three horizontal panels by four vertical panels on a presentation wall in the newly renovated Weinreb Family Childhood Center on the Levine Academy campus.
The collaborative masterpiece was officially unveiled on Oct. 23 at the dedication ceremony of the Weinreb Family Early Childhood Center.
Photos and story submitted by Mireille Brisebois-Allen, Levine Academy admissions director.