Select Commissions of Nancy's Art Work
Nancy Katz spent the first few decades of her career primarily as a textile artist.
She has been commissioned to create work for many individuals and institutions.
Here are some of her favorites institutional commissions.
Temple Israel, Natick, Massachusetts
A group of men who referred to themselves as the "Ark Builders" took on several projects over the years at this Conservative synagogue. Among their projects were a Torah table for the bima and a new ark for the sanctuary.
The community felt that a competition for a new parochet would be an appropriate way to secure an artist.
Mine was the winning design.
I created two curtains--- one sheer, of hand painted silk organza and the other, a patchwork of 70 rich pieces.The seven species are quilted into sections of the exterior curtain.
Congregation Kodimoh, Longmeadow, Massachusetts
In 2005, in order to celebrate it's 90th anniversary, Congregation Kodimoh, a Modern Orthodox synagogue near Springfield, Massachusetts hired me to create artwork to be hung outside of its building.
I met with members of the community to develop the designs and then to paint them on to silk.
Digital images of the work were then transferred onto vinyl to withstand the New England weather.
Temple Beth Shalom, The Woodlands, Texas
Having seen the organza curtain for Temple Israel in Natick, MA, Rabbi James Brandt commissioned a similar curtain for his synagogue but with the addition of large gold colored Hebrew letters to match those above the ark.
The letters--- for the words shma (listen) & emet (truth) were sponge printed onto the fabric.
Rabbi Brandt also commissioned a Torah cover with the theme of Jacob's Dream. The diagonal of the letter Alef serves as the ladder, the organza doves serve as angels.
Temple Mount Sinai, El Paso, Texas
Rabbi Ken Weiss (z"l) and his beloved wife Suzy wanted the "beautiful Texan mountain sunsets," to be reflected in the Torah cover that they commissioned.
Having no frame of reference for those sunsets, the couple flew me to El Paso from the Bay Area so I could experience one for myself.
This Torah cover made of embossed velvet and painted silk, is the result of that trip.
Congregation Emanu-El B'mei Jeshrun, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
These covers were created using silk painted and rubber stamps
made by community members over a several day period.
"I marveled at how Nancy took members of our congregation—members of all ages—and taught and guided them in the creation of new mantles for our sifre Torah.
She found ways to engage everyone, including folk who insisted that they were not creative in any way, and then took our work and transformed the various elements into magnificent mantles that some members began referring to as the 'Magnificent 7.'
Nancy taught, surely; more important, Nancy helped build community in the process of engaging in hiddur mitzvah."
-Rabbi Marc Berkson
Temple Emanu-El, San Diego, California
Rabbi Marty Lawson was the first person to entrust me with the responsibility of creating "real" synagogue art, as opposed to that for summer camp use.
I was commissioned to make this cover in 1986.
The design needed to work with a breast plate and crown, as well as with existing covers and decor. It was an exciting challenge and a wonderful vote of confidence!