The Israeli Consulate to the Southwest, located in Houston, Texas, recently collaborated on two art projects that beautified the city and expressed the desire for peace and harmony in the world.
Israeli Space Murals
The first project is a series of outdoor murals displayed in one of Houston’s developing neighborhoods. These murals commemorate the contributions of the State of Israel to the advancement of technologies related to the space industry, education, art and medicine, and Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who perished in the Columbia space shuttle tragedy in 2003. The artwork, designed by Israeli artist Anat Ronen, also honors Houston’s role in training Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe, who led the Rakia Mission to the International Space Station in March.
The murals, a joint project between Israeli and local authorities, were created with the encouragement of the Houston municipality to attract tourists to the area and encourage neighborhood development.
The murals were donated by the Consulate and Israeli officials in Houston as a gift to the city’s residents. Elected officials, members of the city’s art establishment and the space industry, local Israelis and members of the Jewish community attended the unveiling ceremony.
Peace Dance Exhibition Project
The Peace Dance Exhibition Project was developed by Israeli artist Keren Farago and Ashkan Roayaee, a local Iranian photographer. The exhibit’s origins started through a connection between the two artists via social networks that took place before the onset of the pandemic.
Keren Farago from Israel began to follow photographer Ashkan Roayaee and his dance photography. Roayaee told Farago that he was Iranian and that he would be delighted to connect between the two disciplines of art and photography.
The artwork features dancers from local Houston dance companies, photographed by Roayaee and expressed as paintings by Farago. The exhibit was held in a large and well-known art center in Houston and will be shown next year in Austin. Hundreds of people attended the exhibit, among them Israelis and Iranians who enjoyed viewing the products of this exciting collaboration.
The Israeli cultural attaché Reut Bonfil said: “This exciting partnership proves that art is a bridge between people, nations and countries and can transcend disputes and differences in language and belief”.