To celebrate the completion of three major cultural projects, which include a new building at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art - an impressive concrete and glass structure, designed by Preston Scott Cohen, which opened last November - a new wing at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and the newly renovated Habima National Theatre, the city of Tel Aviv has declared 2012 'art year'. To kick-start proceedings, it laid on an opening weekend with a packed schedule of cultural activities.
The weekend launched with a 24hr art marathon at the museum. The free-of-charge program of exhibitions, workshops, artist talks and live performances, drew a huge crowd. Highlights included an Anselm Kiefer guided tour through his Breaking of the Vessels show and a vocal performance by The Lightfall, an African Hebrew choir from Jerusalem, who were placed on various floors of the new building to sing at midnight.
The outside public space around the museum and performing arts centre was also packed with a series of multi-disciplinary installations, such as Dreamfields Urban Innovators an interactive 3-D game, which harnessed the collective intelligence of players to place coloured cubes within an arena. An instant photo booth, by Ido Shemi, allowed people to turn themselves into comic-like screen savers.
As well as these big-scale events, the city was peppered with pop-up exhibitions, guerrilla galleries and open studios, which together offered a glimpse into the buzzing creative spirit of Tel Aviv. One such pop-up was FAD (which stands for fashion, art and design) - a 30 day concept store in the Florentine area that played host to the launch of the Wallpaper* City Guide to Tel Aviv, showcasing the city's new cultural cachet.
In the south of the city, the former industrial neighbourhood of Kiryat Hamelacha (the working district) is now home to around 70 artist studios and galleries. The young creative community seems to be congregating here, where space is plentiful and rents are still reasonable. More established galleries are also beginning to relocate here, which indicates where the area is clearly headed. All weekend, specially arranged art tours stopped by the studios, allowing visitors to meet the artists and see them at work.
The newly redeveloped port at Jaffa, home to large warehouses, is a great place for studios and galleries and was worth a wander. Creative collectives, such as Four n Five, work and exhibit there, while The Salon, a two-year-old permanent space, promotes the work of young Israeli artists.
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Learn sustainable life skills at Common Knowledge’s County Clare retreat
The Common Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Living is a workshop retreat from the social enterprise team behind the Tigín tiny home project
By Lizzie Gore-Grimes Published
The Houses at 8899 Beverly offer options, sustainability and modernist nods
The Houses at 8899 Beverly by Olson Kundig is a collection of sustainable townhouses framing a midcentury area landmark in the West Hollywood Design District
By Carole Dixon Published
Schofield unveils its Light watch, typical of its cool, subtle design
British watch brand Schofield unveils the Light watch in two iterations, each with monochrome contrast dials
By James Gurney Published
Alex Israel mines Batman lore for Marseille exhibition
The Los Angeles-based artist commandeers the brutalist rooftop of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation with an homage to the Gotham superhero
By TF Chan Last updated
White city: the remarkable history of Bauhaus in Tel Aviv
By Charlotte Jansen Last updated
Poster politics: David Tartakover plasters the walls of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
By Mary Pelletier Last updated
Unique, to everyone: Jerusalem’s Under the Mountain festival
By Ann Binlot Last updated
Under the influence: Tower of David Museum explores the heritage of two Israeli designers
By Ali Morris Last updated
Ron Gilad takes us on a tour of his new show at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
By Malaika Byng Last updated