As Jewish communities worldwide commemorate two decades since the passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—a new art gallery is hoping to inspire visitors as only artists can.

The show, titled “This Is My Rebbe,” opened this week at 386 Kingston Ave. in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Geared for the community, shluchim and others traveling to New York for events surrounding Gimmel Tammuz (the Rebbe’s 20th yarhzeit), it’s slated to stay up for two weeks, until Sunday July 13. The exhibition was curated by Rabbi Shais Taub and The Creative Soul, an organization of Jewish artists led by Rabbi Yitzchok Moully, whose art appears on Chabad.org.

The gallery entrance features an installation that seeks to recreate the aura of the Rebbe’s farbrengens (Chassidic gatherings).

Covering all four walls—floor to ceiling—is a repeated image of a silkscreen piece by Moully called “farbrengen.” It shows a group of contemporary Chassidim that Moully photographed at a gathering for shluchim a few years ago, which he used for artistic interpretation, as though it had been taken decades earlier.

“I was trying to achieve a replica of Chassidim at the Rebbe’s farbrengen,” explains Moully. “I took the photo at an angle, where the viewer can imagine that it’s reminiscent of Chassidim on bleachers at the back of 770. I tried to recapture that spirit and energy.”

Detail from "farbrengen"
Detail from "farbrengen"

The installation leads to a larger room full of a range of paintings and illustrations of the Rebbe in different styles. Some 15 artists (some local, others from various countries) display a total of about 30 works, each with its own unique interpretation, along with a personal note on how the Rebbe impacted the artist. There is also an interactive piece—an empty frame on the wall where visitors can post notes on the Rebbe’s impact on their own lives so that they, too, can in a way become part of the show, says Moully.

Moully is curating monthly art shows and hosting weekly events at the Mayan Center, which The Creative Soul began renting as its first permanent home in March. He says the shows are based on themes “not just for art’s sake, but to uplift us, to bring us to a greater appreciation of the things we hold in our consciousness. Art is not an end in itself, but a means to connecting in a deeper way to Judaism.”