Israel’s arts and culture scene is brimming with talent. Over the years, ISRAEL21c has featured and profiled numerous artists credited with breaking ground in the cultural arena.
Spotlight in Israel presents six of the women keeping the country’s creativity fresh and innovative:
Ilana Goor is an internationally acclaimed artist who lives in an eponymous museum on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in the old city of Jaffa. The Ilana Goor Museum, a restored 18th-century building, houses more than 300 pieces of her sculptures, jewelry and furniture as well as a vast collection of art. She studied at the renowned Bezalel School of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, which had been co-founded by her grandfather.
Dina Merhav is a fourth-generation artist working in iron. This Ein Hod resident’s soaring sculptures are fantastical and awe-inspiring. The hip grandmother has exhibited everywhere and has had works commissioned from around the world including for the Olympic Park in Beijing.
Gali Tibbon‘s photographs are worth far more than 1,000 words. The award-winning Jerusalemite is famous for her shots of people practicing centuries-old faith traditions. She has been featured in the documentaries “Beyond Assignment” and “Mirrors of War” (“Trompe l’oeil”).
Lilach Chen is credited for kick-starting the finger break-dancing trend back in 2004. The former dancer-turned-businesswoman had the world in the palm of her hands – literally – after she created her new style of dance. Copycats were quick to follow and the trend took over the advertising world and YouTube. The original is made in Israel.Chen is currently taking part in a global, Red Bull-sponsored, Fingers Breakdance competition based on her idea. She gives online tutorials on how to create the B-boy moves with one’s hand.
Artist Zipi Ifat paints big. You won’t find her works in a museum or gallery and most adults won’t know her name. Israel’s children wait impatiently for her creations – she’s the woman in charge of the elaborate floats in the national Adloyada Purim Parade in Holon. Ifat, considered Israel’s expert on oversize parade platforms, has been at the helm since the parade began over 20 years ago. An architect by training, she heads to Italy every February to the Viareggio Carnival, where she sees what’s new in the field.
Yael Nitzan, a TV producer, art historian and author, is behind the newest institution to join Israel’s widespread museum scene. She is transforming a 200-year-old sheikh’s palace in Haifa into the Museum of Israeli Women. Museums dedicated to women are rare, but she believes her project will reach its funding goal and open doors in the coming year. “There’s nothing quite like Israel in the world and nothing quite like the women of Israel,” she told ISRAEL21c.