4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks
The journey has begun! The Mizel Museum’s new permanent exhibit opened February 2 and is receiving rave reviews. It’s a dynamic journey through art, artifacts and installations that illustrate, narrate and celebrate the Jewish journey. Among the exhibit’s many elements are rare objects and artifacts, the work of renowned photographer Zion Ozeri, works of artists from Denver and around the world, installations by local artist Scott Lyon and the Community Narratives Project, a compilation of digital stories that serve as “living objects” in the exhibit.
4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks illustrates the Jewish journey across time and space from a contemporary perspective, including topics such as the roots of Judaism, adaptability and resilience, diversity, creating community, cultural preservation, interfaith relations, and the role of the arts in social change. An essential goal of this exhibition is for each visitor, in examining the experience of the Jewish people, to think about and feel proud of his or her own personal journey, and to feel inspired by the fact that journeys don’t end but rather continue to unfold. In highlighting the idea of gathering sparks or repairing the world, while on that road trip, the exhibition helps visitors realize that each individual’s journey overlaps and interweaves with many others; so together, we must continue to gather sparks and accumulate light for ourselves and for one another.
Visitors to the exhibit learn about tikkun olam, or repairing the world. The exhibition gets its title from the 16th Century creation myth, by the Jewish Kabbalist Isaac Luria (Ari) of Safed, which describes the origin of tikkun olam: “At the beginning of time, God’s presence filled the universe. When God decided to bring the world into being, to make room for creation, he contracted himself by drawing in his breath, forming a dark mass. Then God said, “Let there be light” (Gen, 1:3) and ten holy vessels came forth, each filled with primordial light. God sent forth the ten vessels like a fleet of ships, each carrying its cargo of light. But the vessels—too fragile to contain such powerful divine light—broke open, scattering the holy sparks everywhere. Had these vessels arrived intact, the world would have been perfect. Instead, God created people to seek out and gather the hidden sparks, wherever we can find them. Once this task is completed, the broken vessels will be restored and the world will be repaired.”
Guided individual and group tours are offered, in addition to new enhancement programs that supplement the exhibit experience with exploration of topics that meet your group’s interests and support classroom curriculum. To scheduled a guided tour contact Jan Nadav at (303) 749-5015.