A North Texas Jewish center played host to a modern art show, highlighting its less-than-conventional style in giving locals outlets to explore their heritage.

The MOTA show – the acrostic stands for “Member of the Tribe Art” – brought together diverse works by 12 prominent area artists at the InTown Chabad-Lubavitch center in Dallas’ trendy uptown section. According to Rabbi Zvi Drizin, the show was the perfect fit for an organization housed in a former art gallery.

“It’s really an exquisite location, like a chalet in Aspen,” said Drizin. “I’ve long dreamed of featuring art in the house, and I was lucky enough to find a gallery owner and an art promoter to help put this together.”

Drizin teamed with Jeff Levine, editor and publisher of the ModernDallas.net website, and Dahlia Woods, an artist whose eponymous gallery sits catty corner to the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art. The collection they compiled ranged from shimmering kinetic sculptures to glass mosaics, highly-textured paintings, photography, and clay and metal sculptures. All of the artists were Jewish, but according to Drizin, their works were not necessarily Jewish in nature.

“The house is a pretty unique space; it lends itself to an art show,” said Levine, “and the place is a tribute to Zvi’s vision and his ability to connect with these kids.”

Opened two-and-a-half years ago, InTown Chabad serves a unique demographic: young adults who have finished college, but have not yet started their own families.

“This is the most underserved population in the Jewish community,” said Drizin, who estimates that approximately 450 Jewish singles ranging in age from the young 20’s to early 30’s frequent the hall. “When people leave college, it’s a key time of life; they make key decisions. But many of them tune out the Jewish community until they have children.

“Here, we have Jews from all denominations; it’s quite an eclectic group,” he added. “But their commonality outweighs their differences.”

Woods came up with the name for the show; approximately 60 percent of the artists featured at her gallery are Jewish.

A sculpture by George Tobolowsky was also included in the show.
A sculpture by George Tobolowsky was also included in the show.

“We had more artists than we could possibly use for this show,” said Woods, an Israeli native. “But we came up with a nice mix of sculpture and one- and two-dimensional works. All of the artists are locally and nationally revered, very talented and creative people. We’re honored to have them.”

Woods also liked the idea of using art to help support the InTown Chabad, which received a portion of the portion of the proceeds.

“It’s an alternative social setting for young Jewish people,” she said. “Zvi has done a great job of bringing all levels of Judaism together; there’s a great camaraderie. And they have wonderful Shabbat dinners.”

Other artists included in the MOTA Show were glass artist Brad Abrams, international photographer Stewart Cohen, ceramicist Lisa Ehrich, printmaker and painter Celia Feld, kinetic metal sculptor Etty Horowitz, wax-on-canvas painter Bonny Leibowitz, film noir-inspired painter Kenney Mencher, mosaic glass artist Jamie Pink, stainless steel and wood sculptor Morton Rachofsky, abstract steel sculptor George Tobolowsky, and whimsical mixed media artist Ellen Frances Tuchman.