The Four Cups of Wine for Freedom Concept and Design Competition challenges designers to create a set of four wine cups that are expressive of the roadmap to freedom inspired by the promises and imagery in Exodus 6:6-7. The Museum of Imajewnation is putting a spotlight on the ritual of drinking four cups of wine and its role in the transformative process of the Passover Seder experience. We hope to create talking points for articulating Jewish visions of freedom amidst the struggles of many in the world today to define their notions of freedom and to establish a link between kosher wines and freedom. All entries will be showcased in an exhibit called:

What do we talk about when we talk about freedom?
“Freedom Imagined, Freedom Lived
An Artistic Review of the Passover Promise

The exhibit will be the setting for performances and programming at the:

Marvin & Harlene Wool Studio Theatre
JCC Arts and Education Building,
2 Millstone Campus Drive, St. Louis, Missouri, 63146
March 11th to 28th, 2013

Step 1: Consider the Context
Jewish visions of freedom arise from the experience of Israelite slaves in Egypt, the exodus and the wandering in the wilderness, reenacted each year at the Passover seder. The Haggadah is the script for the Passover seder, inviting improvisation around 15 actions and various ’props’ to retell the story of the exodus of Israelites from slavery to freedom. The Haggaddah is also a layered text with points of intersection, engaging its readers with multiple tellings of the freedom story. One telling of the story spans the entire length of the seder, punctuating the seder four times with the drinking of wine. The four cups of wine are linked to the four promises of redemption in Exodus 6:6-7, each promise ever more elusive and liberating. Each promise demands of the Passover seder participants more empathy, more trust, more courage and more imagination in order to believe that freedom is possible. And it is the wine which helps them meet the challenge.

Wine serves as an excellent metaphor for the Passover seder. Just as each variety of grape presents itself with a well defined aroma, flavor and color, so too are Jewish visions of freedom, nuanced and unique. When the various components of the wine blend harmoniously, the whole becomes more than the sum of the parts, and when the promises for redemption become the call for all Jews to pursue the justice of freedom, there is unity in a diverse community. The connection between the land and its vineyards is like the connection between Jews and their cultural heritage: Each year’s vintage offers something new and each year there are new questions and quests for freedom at the seder table.

On the night before the Israelites leave Egypt, the Israelites are instructed to gather with family and neighbors, to come prepared for travel, and to eat the paschal lamb in its entirety. Likewise on Passover, Jews gather together with family and friends, prepared for a long working dinner, and to share bottles of wine. The effects of the wine mellow the stubborn, inspire the dreamer, alert the ignorant, and persuade the indifferent, bringing urgency to the Passover promises for freedom.

Step 2: Consider the Challenge
The Haggadah directs us to drink four cups of wine at during the Passover Seder. The four cups of wine are linked to four promises inn Exodus 6:6-7.

“I will free you from the labors of the Egyptians and deliver you from their bondage. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and through extraordinary chastisements. And I will take you to be My people, and I will be your G-d. (A New Translation of the Holy Scriptures According to the Traditional Hebrew Text, JPS 1985)”

The challenge of this competition is to attribute meaning to the wine cups that hold the wine by creating a set of four wine cups that are expressive of the roadmap to freedom inspired by four promises. The goal is to have the artwork engage people in a conversation about freedom, social change and political activism.

Step 3: Start Designing
Artworks will be judged according to the following criteria:

• How the design provokes discussion about freedom.
• How the design contributes to the experience of drinking wine.
• Design’s creativity and aesthetic appeal.

Step 4: See Competition Guidelines and Fill Out Submission Form
The submission form can be found HERE.