The mural was meant to be a collaboration: A public arts agency led the bid for its creation, the surrounding community approved its design and Chicago artist John Pitman Weber stayed in the homes of local residents while he and a team of volunteers painted it during the summer of 1993.
Professor Yaron Z. Eliav, who recently spoke about Jews and statues at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, co-directs the multidisciplinary Statuary Project at the University of Michigan, which, among other endeavors, peruses classical Jewish texts for references to statues (there are at least 6,000 of them -- many appreciative of the figures' beauty and tolerant of female nudes).
Just beyond the new Noah's Ark installation at the Skirball Cultural Center, where Asian elephants and Boringo giraffes tower, a lushly landscaped courtyard has been designed as a rainbow arbor. Rising from a base of rocks, Kahn's rainbow is a curved metal form that wraps around a walkway, spraying droplets of mist that coalesce to form a rainbow. It is the marriage of a museum exhibit and a symbolic natural oasis, recalling both the benevolent and destructive elements of nature and symbolizing God's promise to Noah not to flood the earth again.