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Janina Project: Celestial Structures

by Nikia Redhead
Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum is a significant NYC historic landmark built in 1927 and the sole remaining Romaniote Greek Jewish congregation in the western hemisphere. A secular non-profit museum as well as a functioning synagogue, it is one of only seven enduring original synagogues on the Lower East Side where there were several hundred a century ago.


Janina Project: Celestial Structures by Judy Moonelis is a site-specific sculptural installation. Invited by Museum Director Marcia Haddad Ikonomopoulos, Moonelis’s work brings a contemporary perspective to Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum, public attention to its needs and the importance of its continued existence in the community. Responding to the site and its cultural history, the artist suspends cone shaped wire and mixed media sculptures from two large skylights. These works draw upon multiple references to the “heavens” including ancient celestial maps, contemporary models of the universe, Gothic vault structures and the geometric/numeric symbolism often featured in sacred spaces.

Judy Moonelis is an established NYC artist whose credits include an international exhibition record, significant public museum collections, major artist grants, publications and visiting artist positions. This project has been supported by Becton College of Arts and Sciences, Fairleigh Dickinson University, where Moonelis currently teaches. www.fduarts.org.

The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Hy Genee, an extraordinary man, former president and lay leader of the synagogue for 30 years, who passed away last year.

280 Broome (off Allen), kehila_kedosha_janina@netzero.net, 212.431.1619 or 516.221.2712, www.kkjsm.org, Museum Hours: Sundays 11am-4pm and by appointment. Opening Reception: Sunday January 7, 1:00-4:00 PM, exhibition runs through June 24, 2007. Synagogue Services: Saturdays at 9am and holidays.

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