Contact: Diane Dufilho,
Director, Meadows Museum of Art, 318-869-5169
or Lynn Stewart, Centenary
News Service, 318-869-5120
The Shekhina Project,
A Selection of Photographs by Leonard Nimoy on
Display Through Nov. 17 at Meadows Museum of Art, Centenary College of
SHREVEPORT, LA -- The Shekhina
Project, A Selection of Photograhs by Leonard Nimoy is on display at
Centenary College's Meadows Museum of Art until Nov. 17.
The schedule of festivities includes
a visit to Shreveport by Nimoy, who will lecture on The Shekhina Project
in Centenary's Hurley Auditorium at 2 p.m. Oct. 20 and participate in a
book signing of a monograph featuring his photographs following his presentation.
The Shekhina Project presents
the first-ever monograph of Leonard Nimoy, photographer. This exhaustive
and eerily beautiful photographic study of the female form reveals Nimoy's
intrigue with scripture and spirituality. This special exhibition is part
of the Shreveport's citywide festivities celebrating the centennial of
Agudath Achim Synagogue in Shreveport.
Leonard Nimoy was born in Boston,
Mass. in 1931. After his feature film debut in 1951, he pursued his acting
career on the big screen as well as on stage and television. However, it
was Nimoy's portrayal of the character Spock in the science fiction series
Star Trek that earned him iconic status and three Emmy nominations.
Aside from his numerous credits as
an actor and director, Nimoy is also a successful author, having published
two autobiographies and several volumes of poetry, two of which also feature
his photographs. He pursued an interest in photography since his teens,
and studied at UCLA with Robert Heineken in the early 1970s. He recently
finished an appointment as artist-in-residence at the American Academy
The photographs in The Shekhina
Project are based on scriptural mythology and ancient spirituality.
According to the Kabbalah, evil came into the world once God became
separate from the Shekhina, the deity's feminine counterpart. The Shekhina
came to be understood as a crucial element of both divine and human spirit,
symbolizing the creativity and wisdom, without which no being is complete.
Nimoy has turned to photography as
a means of inquiry into the mysteries of the Shekhina. In his introductory
text, Nimoy explains the influence Shekhina has had on the work: "I have
imagined her as ubiquitous, watchful and often in motion. This work is
my quest for insight, the exploration of my own spirituality, and, as such,
has been a deeply
moving and expanding process."
Donald Kuspit describes Nimoy's subject
as "the transmutation of sexual desire into spiritual aspiration, that
is, the problem of sublimating sexual attraction into ideal beauty." In
Kuspit's provocative text, Nimoy's fascination with the female body involves
an element of temptation as well as transcendence: "In Nimoy's ingenious
photographs the covered figure symbolizes transcendental truth, while the
uncovered figure evokes profane desire. The most intriguing photographs
are perhaps those in which the figure is half clothed, half naked, conveying
the conflict of spirituality and desire that I think is at the core of
Nimoy's art. …It is Nimoy's ability
to convey woman's many-sidedness--Shekhina and succubus at once that makes
his photographs profound."
A selection of photographs from Nimoy's
inquiry into the Shekhina in the Meadows Museum provide an exciting complement
to the exhibition The Southern Jewish Experience, Celebrating a Century
in Shreveport with Agudath Achim. A variety of programs and related
events have been scheduled throughout October. For further information
regarding the program calendar, call the Meadows Museum of Art at 318-869-5169
The Meadows Museum of Art is located
on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana at 2911 Centenary Boulevard
in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Museum is open to the general public
from noon to 4 p.m.Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; from noon to 5 p.m.on
Thursday; from 1 to 4 p.m.on Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is closed
Monday. The Museum is free
of charge to the general public. For further information or to receive
a 2002-03 Exhibition and Program Guide, call the Museum Business
Office at 318-869-5040.
This exhibition has been curated
and organized by Umbrage Editions. The printing of educational and informational
materials for this exhibition has been supported by the Louisiana Endowment
for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the
Humanities, and by the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau.
The Museum receives general operating support from the Shreveport Regional
Arts Council with funds from the City of Shreveport. The Museum receives
annual support from the Friends of the Algur Meadows Museum. The
Museum seeks and receives funding and support from both public and private
foundations and other sources on a project-by-project basis.
Calendar of Events
Aug. 27, 2002 (Tuesday): Two exhibitions,
Celebrating a Century in Shreveport with Agudath Achim and The
Shekhina Project: A Selection of Photographs by Leonard Nimoy, open
to the public from noon to 4 p.m. in the upstairs galleries.
Sept. 9, 2002 (Monday): Docent training
for the exhibition The Southern Jewish Experience with special guest
Sylvia Goodman, chairman of the board for the Institute of Southern Jewish
Life, from 9:30 a.m. to noon the Meadows Museum of Art second floor gallery.
Sept. 10, 2002 (Tuesday): School tours
of the Meadows Museum of Art begin at 9:30 a.m.
Sept. 22, 2002 (Sunday): Public lecture
entitled "Shekhina: The Feminine Face of God" by Dr. Susan Brayford, professor
of religious studies at Centenary College of Louisiana, in the second floor
galleries of the Meadows Museum of Art from 2 to 3 p.m.with light refreshments
to follow the lecture.
Oct. 7, 2002 (Monday): Docent training
for the exhibition The Shekhina Project with Dr. Susan Brayford
from 9:30 a.m. to noon the Meadows Museum of Art second floor gallery.
Oct. 10, 2002 (Thursday): Exhibition
Reception and Gallery Talk with Rabbi Foster Kawaler, Agudath Achim Congregation
for The Southern Jewish Experience from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Meadows
Museum of Art second floor galleries with kosher refreshments.
Oct. 13, 2002 (Sunday): Public lecture
entitled "Jewish Ritual: Symbol vs Sacrament" with Rabbi Harold Robinson,
Rabbi at B'nai Zion Synagogue in Shreveport, La., from 2 to 3 p.m.in the
second floor galleries of the Meadows Museum of Art with light refreshments
to follow the lecture.
Oct. 20, 2002 (Sunday): Public lecture
on The Shekhina Project by Leonard Nimoy, photographer, Los Angeles,
Calif., in the Hurley Auditorium from 2 to 3 p.m.with a reception and book
signing to follow the lecture from 3 to 4 p.m.
Oct. 27, 2002 (Sunday): Public lecture
on "The Changing Face of Southern Jewry" by Macy Hart, director of The
Institute of Southern Jewish Life in Jackson, Miss., from 2 to 3 p.m. in
the Meadows Museum of Art second floor gallery with light refreshments
following the lecture.
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