Local Crown Heights artists gathered for a Hakhel unity event for visual artists.
Hosted by Michoel Muchnik in his Carroll Street home, the artists gathered to strengthen themselves in channeling their talents and skills in the service of Hashem.
The artists reviewed the Rambam on Ethics which states that “just as the body becomes exhausted by hard labor and then through rest and refreshment recovers, so too the mind when it becomes weary and exhausted it can relax by gazing upon pictures and beautiful objects. And concludes that beautifying a home with pictures and embroideries is not considered immoral or unnecessary.”
Bringing together artists from all ages, there was a true spirit of achdus and Chassidic camaraderie “and to his brother he shall say, ‘strengthen yourself.'”
“I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and excitement of fellow artists in the days leading up to the Hakhel,” said Michoel Muchnik about the gathering.
“I learned so much!” said Yanki Gitlin. Or in the words of Esther Rosen, “It was lovely and inspiring.”
While Muchnik shared some of the personal directives he received from the Rebbe, other topics were discussed including certain Halacha as it pertains to art, creative inspiration, and what the greater purpose of art is.
The Rebbe was also quoted in a conversation with famed sculptor Chaim Yaakov (Jacques) Lipchitz. “Those who have been Divinely gifted in art, whether sculpture or painting and the like, have the privilege of being able to convert an inanimate thing, such as a brush, paint and canvas, or wood and stone, etc., into living form. In a deeper sense, it is the ability to transform to a certain extent the material into spiritual, even where the creation is in still life, and certainly where the artistic work has to do with living creatures and humans. How much more so if the art medium is used to advance ideas, especially reflecting Torah and Mitzvoth, which would raise the artistic skill to its highest level”
“Indeed, this is the ultimate purpose of the Exhibition, which hopefully will impress and inspire the viewers with higher emotions and concepts of Yiddishkeit imbued with the spirit of Chassidus, and make them, too, vehicles of disseminating Yiddishkeit in their environment, and particularly through the educational institutions…”
Zvi Reines of Masterworks Productions and the Reines Gallery said, “It’s refreshing to see many skilled artists gathering with the common objective of creating beautiful works that align and even express Torah values and positive messages.”
“There is enough room for everyone,” proclaimed Yitzchok Moully. “It was very meaningful and I look forward more events like this in the future,” said artist Rivka Siegel.
After each getting a chance to introduce themselves, the artists got to know one another better and learn more about each other.
In light of the Rebbe’s directive for making gatherings in this special year of Hakhel, Muchnik hopes that others will take lead and organize a hakhel for anybody in their sphere of influence or profession. As the Rebbe said anybody who puts their efforts into a Hakhel will see success beyond their wildest dreams.
Inspired by hostess Sara Muchnik an email list of the artists was compiled and a whatsapp group is in formation.
To be added and informed of future events for artists please email [email protected]