Art alive in Jerusalem

Exhibition galleries, museums and artists in Jerusalem gear up for the independent, vibrant annual art event, Manofim.

Manofim 58 (photo credit: David Adika The Artists Studios)
Manofim 58
(photo credit: David Adika The Artists Studios)
Around 10, 000 visitors are anticipated to attend the fourth annual Manofim, a grassroots initiative led by artists striving to create a strong basis for creative art in Jerusalem. The first night is devoted to the opening of the Jerusalem visual arts season with more than 250 artists involved. Free shuttle buses displaying works of art will take the audience between exhibition openings at the participating galleries.
Manofim was founded by artists from the Artists’ Studio in Talpiot in 2008. Two of these dynamic individuals, Lee He Shulov and Rinat Edelstein, manage Manofim today. The project aims to highlight the original contemporary art scene in Jerusalem, to portray Jerusalem as a modern, pluralistic city and to make art and culture accessible to all. “There is something about Jerusalem that gets stuck with you. I am in love with the city and want to stay here,” says Jerusalem-born Lee He. “Manofim aims to strengthen artists who choose to live and create in the city.”
With the backing of the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Foundation as well as private and commercial sponsorships, Manofim has evolved considerably since last year. The audience can look forward to twenty five new thought-provoking exhibitions. Each day will be dedicated to a different neighborhood in Jerusalem to help visitors discover new areas and link exhibition spaces with the everyday life in the neighborhood.
Another highlight is the unique art project at the Tower of David Museum in the Old City, "Souvenirs", curated by Michael Ksus-Gdaliovitch. The exhibition displays works at the museum by leading Israeli and international artists whose creations are inspired by the nearby marketplace in the Christian Quarter in the Old City.
A new tradition inaugurated this year is the first film festival in Israel dedicated to mockumentaries, fictitious shows or films presented in documentary format. The festival, Mockumenta, will host entertaining weekly screenings of new and old films, lectures with directors and an international film competition. Mockumenta aims to provide a platform for this creative genre and encourage discourse about the definitions of reality versus imagination.
“Although an annual seasonal event, the idea of Manofim is to influence the art scene all year round,” says Lee He. Manofim maintains an on-going presence in the Jerusalem cultural landscape throughout the year through smaller urban art events, an informative up-to date-website interdisciplinary activities and an art forum of over 25 cultural institutions and exhibition spaces.
Lee He and Rinat have big plans for Manofim next year and want to include a series of professional panel discussions and workshops, commissioned exhibits, an educational outreach program, a quarterly art publication and an enhanced online presence. “It’s energizing to see more and more initiatives rising up each year in Jerusalem, and to be part of this on-going creation,” says Lee He.
Manofim begins Thursday night and runs until November 3. is a new online international travel portal offering all the latest information on things to do , places to eat  and places to stay.