Known primarily as an abstract expressionist painter, Tobi Kahn’s New Harmony piece is his first major commissioned sculpture in 1993. Jane Blaffer Owen and Kahn identified the location for the piece, responding to the proximity of the Wabash River. Located next to the Macleod Barn Abbey, this gleaming bronze figure stands within a 12 foot high rose granite arch. Several small stones are placed nearby for meditation. New York artist and Jewish Rabi Tobi Kahn was The bronze figure within the South Dakota pink granite shelter was first carved in wood. It was then cast in Chicago, Illinois. The title of the piece, Shalev, comes from the combination of two words: sha, meaning peace; and lev, meaning heart. Shalev has been featured in publications around the world. Many people have found a romantic aspect to the work and have been married in front of the piece. Kahn’s stated intent is to involve the viewer with the art so that they bring their own interpretations to the piece. Kahn’s philosophy is that art is healing and transformative.
This piece is also featured in Historic New Harmony’s free mobile phone audio tour which will lead you to all public art in New Harmony with audio descriptions and locating services. This tour can be used by clicking the link on your smartphone.