NANCY O'NEIL         


Public Art
Glass Blocks

Return to Home Page

Temple Beth El, Portland, ME

Copyright © 1989 Nancy Gutkin O'Neil
Please click to see additional images of project

Temple Beth El, Portland, ME

In 1988-89 I worked on seven windows for the lobby at Temple Beth El, a Conservative Synagogue in Portland, ME. Rabbi Harry Sky assisted me in my research for this important piece, "Creation". The total piece is 40'h x 28' wide x 1/2"d.

The windows tell the story of the creation of the world, with imagery ranging from esoteric Jewish mythology to modern scientific theory. My main reference book was Louis Ginzberg's Legends of the Jews, a truly fascinating collection of stories related to the Jewish Bible. It draws largely from the body of literature known as Midrash, an "imaginative retelling and elaboration" on Bible stories. It is a tremendously rich source of mythological tales and provided me with valuable visual material.

The design is based on spiraling forms that extend across the horizontal expanse. Each panel contains beautiful, shaded mouthblown glass along with painted and fired details.

Project photos by Jon Bonjour