Genesis – The Beginning of Creativity; An Interfaith, Intercultural Three Venue Event in New York City

Jewish Art Salon in partnership with CARAVAN presents

Genesis: The Beginning of Creativity

An Interfaith, Intercultural Three Venue Event in New York City

The Jewish Art Salon has created a radical cultural conversation, positively unique during the anxiety and dissonance of our current era. This exhibition of 130 artworks is a forceful aesthetic statement about unity, positivity, and hope, by creating a decisive new interreligious/intercultural/ visual art exhibition based on the Creation Narratives.  

An innovative course of meaningful communication has emerged between Jewish, Christian, Islamic and secular artists as they created works of art reflecting these seminal stories of religious world literature.  The exhibition is committed to an inclusive discussion examining the narratives and what they mean to the individual artists and their communities at large at this moment in world history. 

The exhibition will feature two panel discussions to explore a selection of the artworks and the underlying ideas of Genesis:

  • The Role of the Feminine in the Secular and the Sacred: Genesis’ complex ideas concerning contemporary women, including new approaches to spirituality and secular themes. May 11, 6pm, The Interchurch Center.
  • The Art of Creation: A Discussion: the Genesis Narrative seen through the distinct lens of contemporary and progressive Islam, Christianity and Judaism. June 1, 6pm, Jewish Theological Seminary.


The Jewish Theological Seminary

3080 Broadway, (at W 122nd Street) New York, NY

  • Opening Reception, Thursday, June 1, 2023; 5-7pm
  • Panel Discussion; 6pm: The Art of Creation: A Discussion.
    The Genesis Narratives seen through the distinct lens of contemporary and progressive Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. 

    Panelists: Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Nathan and Janet Appleman Professor Emeritus of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at Jewish Theological Seminary; Daisy Khan,  a Kashmiri-American Islamic campaigner, reformer,[and executive director of the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE); Karenna Gore, American author, lawyer, and climate activist, founder and executive director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary: Moderator: Richard McBee, Curator JAS Genesis, artist, writer.
  • Exhibition Dates: June 1- July 30; Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM -5:00 PM.


The Interchurch Center 

61 Claremont Avenue (btwn. West 119th and 120th Street), New York, NY 10115.

  • Opening Reception: Thursday May 11, 2023; 5 – 7pm
  • Panel Discussion: 6pm; The Role of the Feminine in the Secular and the Sacred.
    Genesis’ complex ideas concerning contemporary women, including new approaches to spirituality and secular themes.
    Panelists: Siona BenjaminArtistGrace Bydalek, Co-Founder, It is Good: A Festival of Arts + Faith, and Director of the Dissident Project; Afarin RachmanifarArtist, Educator; Shilpi ChandraIndependent Curator and Art Historian: Moderator: Yona Verwer, Founding Director Jewish Art Salon, Artist.
  • Exhibition Dates: May 1- June 30; Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM. 

Riverside Church

91 Claremont Avenue, (West 121st Street), New York, NY 10027.

  • Exhibition Dates: May 4-June 30. Monday – Friday, 9:00-5:00 pm.

  • A color catalog is available here

    with nine essays by international scholars, including Steven Fine, S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate, Joel Silverstein, Rachel Kupferman, Susan Chevlowe, Mohammed Ibraheem Ahmed & Dunya Habash, Clare Pearman, Abigail H. Meyer, and Afrain Rahmanifar.
    Editor: Goldie Gross.
  • _____________

    The exhibition was made possible with additional support from:
  • The Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at JTS
  • The Interchurch Center Committee on Ecumenical, Interfaith and Community Concerns

Riverside Church

The Interchurch Center

Jewish Theological Seminary

Artists responded to the Creation narratives in the Book of Genesis 1-4, as well as the Gospel of John 1-3, relevant suras of the Holy Quran, i.e. Sura’ Al-Baqarah, Sura’ As-Sajdah, Sura’ Yassin, Sura Al-A`raf, Sura Ta-Ha and Sura Al-Ma’ida, and pertinent modern and ancient commentaries (i.e. Hadith, Midrash, etc.).

Common to all sources is a fundamental narrative in which God sets into motion a chain of events that begins the creation of the universe and everything in it. 

Sacred to all three Abrahamic faiths as a shared cultural heritage, as well as a foundational literary text in much of the world, these texts demonstrate not only how the world was conceived, but how human creativity itself is a generative core of Creation. 

Our relationship to these narratives continues to evolve in our own day, maintaining its status as a defining chronicle of both cosmic and individual importance.

This exhibition is a vibrant conversation between approximately 130 artists (featuring 70 at three venues and 60 online) of different faiths and philosophies, promoting creativity, positivity, and diversity of imagination.

CHIEF CURATORS: Joel Silverstein, Richard McBee, and Goldie Gross. 


CURATORS: Abigail H. Meyer, Susan Maishlish.

ARTISTS at the three unique venues:

Sumaira Aamer, Cathy Abbott, Lina Alattar, Linda Altabef, Cheselyn Amato, Jim Antonucci, Michelle Arnold Paine, Siona Benjamin, John Bergmeier, Gabriella Boros, Kateryna Bortsova, Anita Breitenberg, Diane Churchill, Alisa Clark, Roz Dimon, Alan Falk, Taiba Faraj, Joe Fisher, Larry Frankel, Goldie Gross, Abby Harris, Ann Ginsburgh Hofkin,  Amanda Hallihan, Lori Horowitz, Ioana Lidia Ilea, Judith Joseph, Dorit Jordan Dotan, Behnaz Karjoo, Tobi Kahn, Robert Kirschbaum, Elaine Langerman, Samantha Lish, Ma’ayan, Sandra Mack-Valencia, Samar Mansour, Emily Marbach, Mar Martinez, Richard McBee, Kiki McGrath, Skip McKinstry, Sonia McNally, Cynthia Miller, Lisa Miriam,  Natan Nuchi, Sarah Ngyuen, Claire Marie Pearman, Quimetta Perle, Yoram Raanan, Afarin Rahmanifar, Archie Rand, Anat Ratzabi, Susan Rippberger, Julia Roberts, Cynthia Beth Rubin, Ruth Schreiber, Joan Myerson Shrager, Joel Silverstein, Joe Strickland, Orli Swergold, Gábor Szűcs, Abir Tabbarah, Jason Thomas, Yona Verwer, David Wander, Keiko Yamada.

THE VIRTUAL EXHIBITION will be live May 4th.

The exhibition is divided into seven themes. These themes were carefully organized in response to the over 300 artworks submitted. Topics such as Celestial Light and Water and Energy into Form attracted mostly abstract artists, while Calligraphy as Expression drew artists deriving from western Abstract Expressionism, lettering traditions related to the Bible and the Qur’an, and Asian ink painting. Figurative artists were attracted to the themes of The Creation of Humanity and Powerful Women, with the former evoking Adam and Eve and the latter Eve and Lilith. The works drew on myriad traditions including Eastern and Western Old Master painting, modernist figurative art and abstraction, medieval illustrated Bibles, Qur’anic texts, popular arts, cartoons, and illustrations. The uses of style are reflective of both ancient and modern concerns. The curatorial staff strove to reflect and balance religious points of view.

Catalog essays

Genesis: The Beginning of Creativity by Joel Silverstein

God as Supernal Craftsman, Artists as Human Creators by Steven Fine

Celestial Light and Water by S. Brent Rodríguez-Plate

Calligraphy as Content by Mohammed Ibraheem Ahmed & Dunya Habash

Energy Into Form: To These Questions, There is No Comprehendible Solution (מילתא דא אין לה פתר) by Rachel Kupferman

God as Creator by Abigail H. Meyer

Paradise on Earth by Susan Chevlowe

Creation of Humanity by Claire Pearman

Powerful Women by Afarin Rahmanifar

The catalog will be available for purchase by May 1st, and will be viewable online as well.

ABOUT The Jewish Art Salon

The Jewish Art Salon, established in 2008 and based in New York City, is a non-profit global network of Jewish contemporary artists, curators, art historians and art writers. Through its exhibitions, events and collaborations in the US, Europe and Israel, JAS provides important programs and resources and develops lasting partnerships with the international art community and the general public.

The Jewish Art Salon has organized over 60 art exhibitions, workshops and interactive events exploring contemporary Jewish themes, related to current issues, and broader societal trends. In the New York area it hosts occasional salon sessions with international artists and scholars.

ABOUT CARAVAN “Transformation Through the Arts”

CARAVAN, an international arts NGO/non-profit, is recognized as a global leader in using the arts to further our global quest for a more harmonious future, both with each other and with the earth.  CARAVAN’s mission is based on the belief that the arts can be one of the most effective mediums to heal our world and to creatively foster peace, harmony, wholeness and health in all its forms.

CARAVAN enables transformation to take place by creating artistic “encounter points” around the world that bring together those of divergent backgrounds and worldviews to stimulate discussion, dialogue and education, promoting further understanding, with a vision toward healing our world and creatively fostering peace, harmony, wholeness and health in all its forms.  CARAVAN’s artistic initiatives are held in a wide variety of venues, with the goal of taking their transformational message beyond the traditional “art circles” and maximizing viewership and participation from the widest possible demographic.

One response to “Genesis – The Beginning of Creativity; An Interfaith, Intercultural Three Venue Event in New York City”

  1. […] Info on the three venue exhibition here, May – July 2023, here. […]