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Jewish Street Art Festival

Jewish Street Art Festival at The First Station Jerusalem

– For the first time ever, leading Jewish street artists from around the world are painting murals together on-site in Jerusalem. This unprecedented gathering of ten artists for the Jewish Street Art Festival (jewishstreetart.com) is taking place this October and November during the 2019 Jerusalem Biennale, Jerusalem’s preeminent contemporary art event. To date, nine new artworks have been completed at the First Station (HaTachana Rishona), and seven more at Hutzot Hayotzer, the Artists’ Colony.

Initiated by artist Hillel Smith (Washington, DC and Los Angeles), and assisted by Israel-based co-curators Judy Tal Kopelman and Eli Kaplan-Wildmann, the Festival features artists renowned for murals with Jewish themes and imagery. These artists come from diverse backgrounds: Ashkenazi and Mizrachi, from Israel and the Diaspora, secular and religious. Their varied perspectives exemplify the richness of the Jewish world and create a platform for a broader conversation about Jewish art and identity.

The Festival’s primary location, the First Station is the site of the first train station in Jerusalem, built over 120 years ago. The murals there celebrate life, language, and culture. Hutzot Hayotzer, the Artists’ Colony, is home to some of Israel’s top Judaica artists and artisans. The series of seven murals painted there depicts the seven days of creation. Finally, the mural at the Schechter Institute is a collaborative piece of overlapping texts painted by the Festival’s artists, as well as by acclaimed Israeli calligraphers, designers, and scribes. It evokes the layering of Jewish thought over the last three millennia.

 

The artworks will be shown at The First Station until further notice. You can visit the exhibition 24/7, free of charge, throughout the station.

 

The artists include:

  • Hillel Smith, now located in Washington, DC, was inspired to create Jewish-themed murals by comic books, typography, and the ethnic community-based murals in his native Los Angeles.
  • A designer, public artist and community arts project leader for over 20 years, Judy Tal Kopelman was born in Jerusalem, raised in America, and now again resides in Israel.
  • Moscow-born Ella Ponizovsky Bergelson immigrated to Israel in 1991 and currently lives in Berlin. Her own hybrid identity drives her to explore cultural self-definition in individuals and in communities.
  • Itamar Palogi, aka FALUJA, was born in Jerusalem, studied in Germany and Italy, and lived in Tel Aviv before settling in Olesh. He focuses on bridging communities through art.
  • Lenore Mizrahi-Cohen recently relocated to Jerusalem from Brooklyn and engages with the culture of Jews from Muslim lands through her mixed-media work.
  • Bareket Kezwer was born in Jerusalem and raised in Toronto, where she fills the streets with bright colors.
  • Dan Groover spent his childhood in Paris and was inspired by French hip-hop. He moved to the French West Indies and then, in 1995, to Jerusalem.
  • Los Angeles native Shlome J. Hayun blends lush colors, abstract design, music, and Middle Eastern symbols in his work.
  • Solomon Souza, the grandson of Indian artist Francis Newton Souza, was born in London and came to Israel at age 17 to study in yeshiva. He is best known for the portraits of famous figures in the Mahane Yehuda Market (The Shuk) and his work can be found throughout Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
  • Yitzchok Moully is an Australian-American Chabad rabbi based in New Jersey and is known for his “Chasidic Pop Art” painting style.

Photographers:

Daniel Rachamim, David Morgan, Hillel Smith and Ido Noy Barkat.

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