More than mere acquaintances

“I want to make this a place for young artists in Jerusalem.”

Works by artists who use the in-house studios adorn the New Gallery at Teddy Stadium. (photo credit: DOR KEDMI)
Works by artists who use the in-house studios adorn the New Gallery at Teddy Stadium.
(photo credit: DOR KEDMI)
The New Gallery at Teddy Stadium is presenting “Acquaintance: Chapter 1,” bringing together the works of various artists who use the studios there.
The gallery, which belongs to the Jerusalem Municipality, provides a space for young artists to work with little cost. The downstairs gallery hosts several shows a year and gives the artists the opportunity to display their works.
The high white walls and narrow corridors now present an array of various media – paintings, sculptures, photography and installations – all brought together by curator Tamar Gispan-Greenberg.
On one wall, a colorful oil painting of cotton-candy pink and blue, with a collection of random objects in the foreground; on the next, a collection of charcoal sketches from everyday life. The meeting of these diverse pieces manifests a visually stimulating yet surprisingly cohesive exhibit. The creation of “Acquaintance: Chapter 1” brings together not only different works of art, but the artists themselves.
Gispan-Greenberg was inspired to create a platform for the artists to converse.
“Most of the time, they don’t know what the artists next to them are doing,” she explains. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to exhibit their works so the different artists can get to know their colleagues better.”
Bringing together the community of artists proposed a challenge for Gispan-Greenberg, who had to create unity in a diversified pool of work.
“At the beginning, I was terrified of this place because it’s very big,” she explains. “I’m not used to working with such a big space.
Then I went and visited the artists and became even more terrified, because most of them were painting with large pieces with lots of color. I didn’t know how to match all the paintings.”
Gispan-Greenberg met with each artist and discussed which pieces he or she wanted to display.
“As a creator, you should listen to the artists and let them decide what is right for the exhibit,” she notes.
Luckily, it was just a short trip downstairs for them to bring their works and play around with different arrangements. Despite fears of a fragmented exhibition, Gispan-Greenberg was able to keep moving around the works until she was satisfied.
“When you enter a show, you have to see it as a whole, not the works individually,” she says. “When we brought it into the space, it really suited the place.”
The discourse between the works of art creates an interesting experience by which the different works can be pieced together in a very personal way.
“Some of the connections are aesthetic, some of the connections are its intentions,” she says. “Some we can see, others we can’t see.”
All of the works were created within the past year by 12 artists.
Matan Ben-Tolila, whose oil painting My Mother is Flying at Night is on display, has used the studio space for nearly five years and calls it “very refreshing” to get to know the other artists.
“All of us have a busy schedule,” Ben-Tolila says. “We’re all rooted in our daily life. When I come to the studios, it’s a different world. I can meet with the different artists.... I prefer this so much more than working by myself.”
His painting is a homage to his mother, who saw the work for the first time at the exhibit; it portrays her flying over mountains, told in electric orange, deep blue and a grassy-green. He is also preparing for an exhibit in New York to display his oil paintings.
Gispan-Greenberg hopes to open a series of exhibits to present the works of more of the artists using the upstairs space.
“I want to make this a place for young artists in Jerusalem,” she explains. 
The exhibition runs through April 18. Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Mondays and Thursdays, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.; also available by appointment.