The complexity of Jerusalem is one of the things that makes the art emerging from the city so intriguing. It is also one of the things that makes every gallery on this tour feel like a hidden treasure. A majority of the art ventures in Jerusalem are grassroots and even those which are not, collaborate with their colleagues in order to strengthen the relatively small art presence in the city.
All the stops on this tour are located in downtown Jerusalem and nearby. The tour stops include public art houses located in stunning historic buildings, independent galleries located in quaint alleyways with hidden entrances (don’t be afraid – head on in!) and one commercial gallery which exhibits works by known and emerging Israeli artists.
Now, set forth and be inspired!
The best times for this tour are Monday through Thursday at around 4pm and Fridays from around 10am.
The Jerusalem Artists’ House
12 Shmuel Hanagid St., Jerusalem
The Jerusalem Artists’ House is situated in a historic building that once housed “The Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts,” founded by Boris Schatz in 1906, now the internationally renowned Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design. The building was also home to the precursor of the Israel Museum, Israel’s national museum (which will be mentioned again at Ticho House). Since 1965 the house is a dynamic center for exhibitions, displaying unique and varied works of both Israeli and international artists, including prominent young artists exhibiting for the first time.
The galleries are upstairs and there are a few group exhibitions displayed in the house throughout the year.
Where to stop nearby: Mona is a lovely restaurant on the ground floor of the house. It is also worthwhile strolling along the nearby Bezalel and Shats streets where there are boutique shops and popular cafes and restaurants.
Sunday–Thursday: 10am-1pm, 4-7pm
6 Shirizli St., Jerusalem
Barbur is a non-profit art gallery located in the alleyways of the quaint, old neighborhood of Nachlaot. The artist-run space is at once a highly professional gallery with exhibitions of Israeli art while simultaneously functioning as a community-oriented cultural space. Founded in 2005 by a group of fresh graduates of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Barbur offers programming such as a workshops open to the public, a workshop for the elderly of the neighborhood, a community garden and a host of events that deal with social issues. All activities are free and people are always welcome to stay a while over a cup of tea.
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12 Agripas St., entrance is from the inner courtyard
To get to Agripas 12, enter the small alleyway Mevo Ha-Rav Khaim Albokher from Agripas. Once you hit the hidden garden with a cute amphitheater, turn right and you’ll find the entrance to the gallery.
Agripas 12 is a cooperative gallery and its members have maintained the gallery voluntarily for since 2004, financing it without the help of public bodies and with no financila motive. Their vision is to create a local and then international network of independent artists.
Since its foundation it has held more than eighty solo and group exhibitions. Gallery talks with artists, lecturers and curators are held regularly and the gallery has been acknowledged as an important cultural venue in Israel, especially in Jerusalem.
Friday and Saturday: 11am-2pm
Ticho House Museum
Entrance is from 10 HaRav Agan St.
Ticho House offers intrigue on architectural, historic, art and gastronomic levels. Be sure to check off the list:
1. As you enter the house, notice the stunning grounds and house. Of course, notice the house inside as well.
2. The house was owned and inhabited by Dr. Abraham Albert and Anna Ticho from 1924. Upon entering the house, to the left is a section dedicated to the commemoration of the couple, Anna’s art, Dr. Ticho’s ophthalmology clinic that treated people from all over Jerusalem, Israel and even the Middle East, regardless of social status, the couple’s hanukkiah (Hanukkah candelabra) collection, as well as the history of the house. Anna bequeathed the house to the city as a cultural center and it is now managed by the Israel Museum.
3. The other side of the ground floor is a gallery that hosts a number of temporary exhibitions per year. As a museum managed by the Israel Museum, the exhibitions are of a particularly high calibre.
4. On the second floor is Anna Italian Cafe, a very popular restaurant. So popular, it is sometimes best to reserve in advance.
Sunday, Monday: 10am-5pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10am-9pm
Friday and holiday eve: 10am-2pm
Avinoam Sternheim is slowly taking over Hili Greenfeld's exhibition at @kkoresh14 's show "Chinese Whispers". His quirky, mechanical sculptures lay on top of Greenfeld's tarp inspired Persian rugs. Over the span of four months four artists are playing a sort of "phone tag (hence the name Chinese Whispers), and one after another are installing their own exhibitions while slowly removing the art work from the artist before them. So cool! Avinoam's show will officially open on Sept. 15th. coinciding with the @manofimfestival .
Koresh St 14, Jerusalem
Koresh14 is a non-profit organization promoting experimental contemporary art through exhibitions, workshops, talks and events. It is purposely situated in an (ugly, confusing) residential building downtown in order to bring art closer to daily life in Jerusalem. Koresh14 provites a social environment for artistic dialogue and collaboration.