HaMidrasha Gallery is among the prominent galleries in the bustling art scene of the “White City,” and an integral part of the fabric of Israel’s art world.
Unique in its structure, the Gallery is a non-profit, fine arts, culture, and education center run by a recognized academic institution – HaMidrasha-Faculty of Arts of Beit Berl College – allowing the freedom for established artists to experiment and take risks while providing a springboard for emerging artists – Jewish and Arab – to enter Israel’s cultural scene.
Located at the nexus of Yafo and the heart of Israel’s cultural center, Tel Aviv, the Gallery maximizes its unique physical location in bringing marginalized communities together with art aficionados, all of whom participate in artistic exploration, educational activities, and social and political discourse.
HaMidrasha Gallery’s aims, and achievements, are two-fold:
Advancing Israel’s Fine Arts Scene
* A platform for Artistic Experimentation – Non-profit by design, HaMidrasha Gallery provides artists a safe place in which to take risks – both in terms of techniques and social and political issues they address – without the influence of commercial considerations. This freedom affects both established and emerging artists, providing an unrivaled space to challenge Israeli art.
* Introduce Young Artists – The Gallery provides a platform for emerging artists into the Israeli cultural scene, with contemporary exhibits that include installations, performance art, painting, video art, among others.
* Showcase International Artists – The Gallery hosts international artists who have exhibited at known institutions, i.e. Tate Modern in London, but have not been featured in Israel, introducing the Israeli art community to Avant garde international artists and vice versa.
Building & Educating a Community
* Expanding Access to Art – Located on the border of the historic Yemenite quarter, the Arab neighborhoods of Yafo, and Tel Aviv’s thriving cultural center, the Gallery has unique access to, and places special emphasis on, varied and mixed populations, bringing the arts to communities often marginalized by the mainstream art world.
* Arts Education for All Ages – The Gallery views its role as a cultural and educational center, providing a range of art, cultural and educational activities to 7,000 people from the center and periphery of Israel each year. All activities are free of charge, availing art and art activities to all regardless of socio-economic standing.
* Art as a Means for Social Change – The Gallery brings the perspective of art to illuminate current affairs and diverse cultural subjects through the exhibits themselves, as well as lectures and seminars, hosting artists, curators, art students, art lovers and members of the community in challenging, a contemporary discourse of art and its relation to social and political questions at the heart of Israeli society.
* HaMidrasha Gallery Activities – The Gallery spans a two-floor complex that includes a contemporary art gallery and a versatile space equipped for video screening, conferences, seminars, and more.
* Arts Education – An extension of HaMidrasha-Faculty of Arts’ activities in the field of arts education, the Gallery’s programs serve schools and teachers from the District of Tel Aviv and beyond. The Gallery provides lectures and seminars for art teachers and varied activities for students from the community, including a summer school for children, youth and adults. Last year, the Gallery held a yearlong course for exceptional youth in the arts field, as well as monthly sketching workshops for adults led by leading artists from HaMidrasha. During the holidays and school breaks, the Gallery runs varied workshops for children tailored to their age group (5 to 12 years of age). The Gallery hosted 150 elementary school children this year, meeting with the curator and one of the artists presenting, and hosts an annual seminar for high school pupils, both projects in collaboration with the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo. In cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the Gallery hosted for the sixth consecutive year the annual National Graduate Exhibition, displaying selected artworks of over 60 outstanding high school students from across the country – an incredibly special exhibition with a profound impact on the future generation of artists. The Gallery also opens its doors to all college and university students in art programs to learn about exhibitions and speak with the curator. Students of HaMidrasha-Faculty of Arts at Beit Berl College benefit greatly from the Gallery, participating in “Common Ground,” an intensive two-week program whereby students from all years live and create in the Gallery, experimenting working together in a shared space, ultimately leading to the Common Ground exhibition. Each year to outstanding graduates are chosen to exhibit their first solo exhibition at the gallery.
* Building a Community – Utilizing our unique location, our programs include activities for and with the communities around us, intentionally working with those often marginalized by the mainstream art world. In the neighboring Yemenite neighborhood, we run a unique oral history project, collaborating with Beit Berl College’s Department of History to map the neighborhood’s history through the stories of its elders.
* Lectures, Seminars & Conferences – Working with HaMidrasha’s academic staff, the gallery runs lectures and workshops open to the public throughout the year. The Gallery offers on a weekly basis a diverse range of lectures and screenings on current subjects including the local film scene, digital media, music, art education, and philosophy. The Gallery hosts three conferences a year run by HaMidrasha’s Faculty, including an annual conference by the Art Therapy Master’s program for students, professionals and larger community. The Gallery conducts tours and talks with artists and with the Gallery curator, Avi Lubin. All activities are open to the public and are free of charge.
* Artists Initiatives – The Gallery encourages unique initiatives that focus on and highlight social and cultural issues. Artists from all fields, as well as researchers and social activists, are welcomed to use the Gallery and its resources to develop group-based initiatives.