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Renowned Jewish artist to lead exhibit

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The Melton Center for Jewish Studies, the Knowlton School of Architecture and the Department of Art are presenting “Form Follows Ritual: Building for Ceremony,” featuring internationally renowned artist and guest lecturer Allan Wexler.

The program will be held today at the KSA at 5:30 p.m.

Wexler will discuss how our environments influence our daily habits, such as eating and sleeping, and our social interactions with others.

Wexler’s work, which is influenced by architecture and methods of scientific research, dissects daily domestic needs and actions through drawings, sculptures and installations. His work takes obscured meanings of objects and transforms our ordinary daily activities into theatre.

“I first discovered his work at the Jewish Museum in New York City and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, where he was invited to rethink and re-invent objects used for ritual purposes in both ancient and contemporary Judaism,” said Suzanne Silver, assistant professor in the Department of Art.

“I was struck by the uniqueness of his response and the fact that his works resonated beyond a particular religion or culture and spoke of the common experience of ritual in daily life,” she said.

Wexler will offer critiques to architecture students and to Master of Fine Arts students enrolled in a seminar through the Department of Art that examines the influence of religious traditions on contemporary art.

Wexler “turns our everyday lives into art by taking a religious focus and changing it into art. … I hope he will bring what is unique to his art and himself for students and staff at OSU to enjoy,” said Paige Bailey, program assistant for the Melton Center for Jewish Studies.

A work of art by Wexler is currently included in the permanent collection at the Columbus Museum of Art. The piece, “Gardening Sukkah, 2000,” was a gift from Wexler.

“As part of KSA’s commitment to bringing the highest level of design thinking to its students and the community at large, the KSA lecture series invites prominent researchers and practitioners of architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning to present their work in a variety of areas,” said Becky Lonardo, communications coordinator for KSA.

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