Israel is a country of dreamers–of people who look beyond reality and into what the world could be. That’s why this incredible place attracts so many creative minds that drive these people into creating art colonies in Israel, which in their eyes help form the world into something beautiful and creates a space to share their thoughts and their perspectives through beautiful visual pieces.
The coolest thing about these artists’ colonies is the fact that in Israel there is a deep love and respect for art, making each art colony in the country a truly visit-worthy location for locals and tourists alike. Additionally, in Israel, you can find art presented in every city and street, on every corner, and in its numerous galleries and museums displaying some of the world’s greatest artistic wonders created by renowned international artists and a great number of famous Israeli artists.
Art is born and cherished through a myriad of mediums and in a myriad of spaces in this country, but some of the most fascinating sites where the creators converge to create and display their works are artists’ quarters, villages, and colonies. Much like other idealistic communities, these places are often dedicated to something a little different than the mainstream: the support and creation of art.
Israel is a land filled with special artist colonies and communities where artists come together to work on their craft. Let’s take a look at three such captivating artist colonies in Israel and discover where you can take an Israeli art tour.
What are the arts and crafts in Israel?
There are many types of arts and crafts in Israel, from textiles, weaving, and woodwork, to leatherwork, embroidery, basket ware, and glassware. It’s a great place to look for beautiful handmade Jewelry, clothing, and everything in between. Israeli art reflects the history, culture, and landscape of the beautiful country, and even though the country is relatively young, it has already developed its own artistic voice.
Art in Israel is unique, inspiring, and encouraging. If you are interested in visiting interesting artistic locations, there are many places to explore the arts and crafts in this special country. Besides the artists’ colonies and artist villages, there’s the Khutzot Hayitzer International Arts and Crafts Fair every year outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. In Ein Kerem, Israeli artists create ancient handicrafts. There’s even a great Israel art tour of Ein Kerem to see workshops, studios, and galleries. Nahalat Binyamin, an arts and crafts market, is also a great place to explore arts and crafts in Tel Aviv.
What was the art of ancient Israel?
In ancient times, art in Israel was varied. artists painted plants and animals as well as symbols from the sky, like stars and suns. They also focused on monsters from religious texts like angels and cherubs, as well as Egyptian symbols. Israel is a great location to explore ancient pottery, mosaics, and other forms of art. It’s also home to amazing museums and galleries. There is no lack of art and expression here.
Ein Hod Artist Village
This beautiful, picturesque Israeli artist colony in Haifa District is the perfect place for an Israeli art tour. It is situated southeast of Haifa on a hillside at the foot of Mount Carmel among olive groves, with the most beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s also home to many famous Israeli artists.
As if that’s not inviting enough, Ein Hod became an artists’ colony in 1953, when the famous Dada artist Marcel Janco convinced the government to let him build an artists’ colony here, instead of the place being demolished.
Ein Hod has twenty-two galleries, fourteen art workshops, and two museums. You’ll find here the Janco-Dada Museum that shows the works of the village founder and of contemporary artists from Israel and abroad, the community gallery where many residents display their work, the Gertrude Kraus House at the village entrance, as well as the Nisco Museum of Mechanical Music – the first museum of antique musical instruments in the country.
The main gallery of the artist colony has four exhibition halls, each dedicated to a different artistic area. Numerous Israeli painters, sculptors, and musicians call this place their home, and you can often visit their studios.
Visitors can also attend workshops, such as photography, silk screening, music, painting, sculpting, ceramics, mosaics, design, stained glass, lithography, and blacksmithing.
You can attend biweekly chamber music concerts and guest lectures in the Israel artist village, as well as popular music and light entertainment in an outdoor amphitheater during the summer and free outdoor jazz concerts every Saturday near the main square.
An interesting tidbit: In 1992, an original part of the Berlin Wall was placed in the village.
Safed’s Artists’ Quarter
Safed is one of Israel’s four holy cities, together with the beautiful and historically vital cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, and Tiberias. Walking through Safed’s Old Town, through its cobblestone alleys, and visiting the medieval synagogues and the city’s excellent museums, you will witness centuries of awe-inspiring culture and art.
As a matter of fact, in the 16th century, after the Spanish Expulsion, many Jewish religious scholars and mystics were drawn to this city, which became the spiritual center of the Jewish world, particularly of Kabbalah.
One of Safed’s most famous sites is its Artists’ Quarter. Numerous artists, creating all kinds of masterpieces, have called this Arab Quarter their home for many years and created a unique artist colony. Many of them have open studios, so you can even see them working on their art pieces.
You’ll see potters, weavers, glasswork makers, painters, mural painters, photographers, sculptors, cartoonists, micro-calligraphers, silversmiths, silverwork makers, jewelry creators, and many, many more amazingly talented people. There are also numerous galleries, workshops, and conversations with the artists for you to join and enjoy.
In one of the charming 12th-century buildings, you’ll find the Frenel Museum, established in 1972, which showcases the works of Yitzhak Frenel (1899-1981), one of the founders of this Artists’ Quarter.
While technically not an artist colony, village, or quarter, Samar is a colony with a deep connection to the arts. This small kibbutz is situated some 35km from Eilat, less than four hours from Tel Aviv, and between the mountains of the southern Arava valley which you should definitely visit.
It was founded in 1976, and it doesn’t follow the collective rules of traditional kibbutzim. Samar believes that every person has different needs and abilities and it focuses on individual development, more independence and responsibility for the members, and equal opportunities for all of them to fulfill their needs as they see fit, which is why some called it ‘an anarchist kibbutz’.
This is a very dynamic and friendly place, and because it’s so small, everybody knows each other, so it is much easier to talk to others and form stronger friendships than in the large, urban areas.
Samar loves art, and many of its members are artists themselves, whether they’re painters, musicians, writers, or any other kind of art creator. People here share daily tasks, which leaves them enough time to follow their artistic visions toward their individual artistic expression.
Interestingly, given that the Arava Valley has the highest sun exposure in Israel, Samar uses an ultra-modern solar power plant, called Solar Flower Tower, to power the entire kibbutz. The community has the Internet and cable TV, and visitors can enjoy parties, concerts, and various desert adventures, such as biking and hiking through the Eilat Mountains, Mitzpe Ramon, and Timna Park.
To Sum This All Up
Israel is a land of creativity and is bursting with communities of artists. If love art and the joy it brings into our life visit these places, enjoy the art and interaction with great humans and know that you are contributing to the sustainability of art in Israel. Find a tour to learn about the art, artists, and communities of this magical place on our website Gil Travel.