Painting the town

At the Loving Art Making Art Festival, the public can visit studios in Tel Aviv and watch painters and sculptors in artistic action.

September 2, 2011 17:03
4 minute read.
'Don't let the sun catch you crying'

Ayelet ben Dor painting 521. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Just in case we weren’t entirely sure of the extent of artistic endeavor in Tel Aviv and its environs, next week the metropolis’s painters, sculptors and visual artists will fling their studio doors open and get their work out onto the streets.

This year’s Loving Art Making Art Festival (September 8-10), the 10th edition of the annual event organized by the Arts Department of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, encompasses more than 60 galleries and 240 artists, as well as museums and other exhibition spaces – permanent as well enlisted specially for the occasion.

There will be three open-air exhibitions – on Gordon Street, in the Lev Tel Aviv area in the center of the city and on Yehuda Hayamit Street in Jaffa – and some multidiscipline slots at the Tel Aviv Port. All the indoor and outdoor exhibition venues are free.

Veteran curator Edna Mosenson, who is responsible for the outdoor shows, has experience in the different aspects of the decade-long artistic project.

“I used to be the curator of the Tel Aviv Museum, and I have always appreciated Loving Art Making Art,” she notes, adding that the event has developed appreciably over the years. “At first it was just called Loving Art and, over the years, they added “Making Art.” Loving Art alludes to the start of the new art exhibitions season, with the various studios and galleries open until late, till 11 p.m., to allow as many people as possible to get an idea of what the arts scene is up to. There are also exhibition openings in the evenings. It’s an impressive way to kick-start the season,” she says.

The Loving Art part of the event, explains Mosenson, will take place on Thursday. The second part of the title will get going on Friday and Saturday.

“That’s when the artists open their studio doors to the public and allow them to see them creating works, actually ‘making art.’ It’s an opportunity to not just see the finished product as it is exhibited in the museum or gallery but also to get a glimpse of how the works are created, to visit the studios and talk to the artists themselves.”

It is an approach which, says Mosenson, has paid dividends over the years. “The public has shown that it enjoys meeting and talking with the artists, and the artists enjoy having direct contact with people.”

Mosenson says that Loving Art Making Art has also helped to cement Tel Aviv’s place at the epicenter of the national artistic map. “The event reflects the fact that Tel Aviv has become the bustling capital of the arts in Israel. There are many studios and excellent artists around the city.

Each year new exhibition spaces and studios open up. There is also the highly intriguing phenomenon of arts students completing their studies and renting studios near each other. That has given rise to the creation of arts compounds, which generates interesting dialogue among the artists and between the artists and the public. That’s an important mutually nutritious relationship. The key word here is ‘dialogue.’” The curator is also enthused about the outdoor exhibitions and events in her care at this year’s festival. “I thought it was important to have something on Gordon Street. You know, that used to be a major center of art galleries, from the 1950s until the studios started moving to the south of Tel Aviv. But some of the veteran places are still there, and some new galleries have begun opening on and near the street. It is important to support this revitalization and note the area’s contribution to art in Tel Aviv, and indeed the whole country.”

There will also be some musical works at the Tel Aviv Port, incorporating suitably urban phenomena of some now outlawed leaf blowers and several municipal cranes that are usually used to raise workers to a suitable height for replacing street lamp bulbs and for pruning trees that intrude on the city’s thoroughfares.

“I think Loving Art Making Art is a wonderful event, and I’m happy to say it seems to have sparked similar events in places like Jerusalem and Bat Yam. Jerusalem has the Menofim event, which is also very impressive,” states Mosenson. “Artists take a lot of encouragement from showing their works and getting feedback from the public, and the public needs art. Loving Art Making Art is the perfect vehicle for facilitating that.”

For more information about the Loving Art Making Art Festival: (03) 724- 0870-1 and

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