Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Israeli Paper Art from Zichron Ya'akov

Going to the village of Zichron Ya'akov (which means 'Remembering Jacob') I had no idea that art was so prevalent there. Stumbling upon the Tut-Neyar Paper mill as I meandered along the side streets of this quaint and historically rich place was just an extra bonus to my day.While I had a meaningful and kin-esthetic experience at the Aaronsohn Houses (a.k.a the Nili Museum) that are up the street from the mill, it was a refreshing turn of events to see the beauty that thrives in this community after all that sacrifice. It was good to go from the deep dark history of why this village is so important to seeing examples of how it is alive and flourishing today.

Here is a picture of the workshop opposite the mills store and gallery (boy, what would I give for one of those!):

You can see where all the inspiration comes from, with that incredibly blue Israeli sky, the plants and trees. Walking up to the place I went by some lemon trees that smelled soooo good. Every moment was pleasing to the senses during my visit here!

I happen to LOVE paper. One of my most favorite parts of printmaking in the studio is when I get to handle the different types of paper we use to print on. It helps you realize how art making starts on the surface, not with the image on top. And the paper I saw at this mill didn't even need anything on it to be artwork, or beautiful for that matter! Here are some tidbits of what I saw.

Below is a close up (horizontal view) of that last panel on the right. I thought that this work had such a dialogue with the land and history of this place, and of Israel as a whole! The artists, Timna and Izhar Neumann as well as others, have taken the agricultural landscape and incorporated it into the composition of their work; something that was not lost on me as a viewer, especially after my experience at the Nili Museum (where I learned about the wild wheat found in Israel that helped start agricultural developments in the 1800s):

Please take some time to visit the mills site (linked above)! There is so much more interesting info. about how they make the paper and the history of the artists who make it! I briefly met Timna Neumann in the store, and she was both kind and friendly.

Personally, I think that approachability gives you all the more reason to go and see an artists work... and buy it *wink* (one of my English traveling companions fell in love with some of the hand-sized cards they make here and had to have one). I also found out from Timna that she went to Parsons University here in the NY! It was an added surprise to bring a smile to my day.

So, if your ever in Israel, visit Zichron Ya'akov!! It's worth the trip. And don't forget to get ice cream afterwards! Without it your day wouldn't be complete.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Art of Israel: Finding Hidden Gems Among the Old and New

So, as you can guess from my last post, I've been a little preoccupied for the last two months exploring a new frontier for me... travel! It's been an exciting whirlwind of an adventure, with more surprises and discoveries then I could have ever imagined. When I decided to go adventure-seeking, I never knew how much art would be involved, old and new!

As I ran, walked, and stumbled through the land of Israel, I came to one conclusion: this place is a living masterpiece! I found beauty and mystery everywhere I looked. Mountains and valleys rise and fall majestically here, and even the most hum-drum village is worth pulling out your camera for. Here is a view I had of the Jezreel Valley from the Muhraqa Carmelite Monastery on Mt. Carmel in Northern Israel.

The next couple of posts will be about some of the interesting and thought-provoking artwork and places that I was able to experience on my adventure. Some of it is contemporary, other things historical, but all of it is so cool! I'm so excited to share it with you!

Next week: Israeli Paper Art in Zichron Ya'akov

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