goARTkids:

A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Amen: A Prayer for the World " at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine



What would a prayer for the World look like?  What would you pray for?  This is the question that 48 artists (30 Eastern and 18 Western)  were asked to think about, when they were approached by the interfaith arts organization called CARAVAN.  In asking artists from different cultures in the East and West to decorate sculptures, they hoped to create a call for a spiritual and symbolic bridge between countries.   That bridge would extend across the world in the form of a traveling art exhibition.
To begin the process a unifying template was needed, so CARAVAN asked Egyptian artist Dr.
"Pink Camouflage"  Ammar Abou Bakr
Reda Abdel Rashman (known for fueling his contemporary art with ancient Egyptian themes)  for his help.  He sculpted four different fiberglass figures in prayer positions and left them blank. The variations signify diversity in cultures and forms of prayer.  Copies of the blank figures where delivered to the 48 artists and the finished project was first exhibited in July of this year in Cairo, then Washington D.C. and it is now here in New York City at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  Each piece is as diverse in message as in decorative techniques.   The exhibit is  displayed behind the rotunda of the Cathedral.  In and around its small chapels. Some of the figures are arranged together as if in a group meditation and others are placed solo along the corridors.   The experience varies from solemn to uplifting as you walk from piece to piece and read about the different topics that the artists have chosen to  focus on.  When seeing all of the different points of view expressed in this exhibit it is not surprising that practicing tolerance and respect of religious and political beliefs between nations sometimes feels as elusive as a dream.  This exhibit is perfect for all.  Small children and some adults should be reminded not to touch the figures.  There is suggested admission fee. Pay what you can. The exhibit is up through November 23, 2014.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  www.stjohndivine.org
1047 Amsterdam Ave at 112th street