California artists take working tour of Israel

Published on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 by Webmaster

California artists take working tour of Israel
“We’ve come here to draw,” declared Prof. Ruth Weisberg, who led a group of artist and architect colleagues on a recent working trip to Israel under the aegis of the University of Southern California’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Weisberg, a former dean of USC’s Roski School of Fine Arts, founded and directs the school’s new Initiative for Israeli Arts and Humanities.

An exhibition of works resulting from the trip will be displayed at the USC-Hillel Art Gallery in mid-November through early 2014.

The May trip was organized and led by Keshet: The Center for Educational Tourism in Israel, which last December put together an art-centered tour of Israel for the Mizel Museum in Denver.

The USC group of seven participants had four days in Tel Aviv and nearly a week in Jerusalem.

Their Jerusalem itinerary included a full day at the Jerusalem Print Workshop; a tour of the Israel Museum and its related Ticho House Museum; a walk through the Machane Yehuda Market, hiking at Sataf park and historical site, and plenty of time to explore and draw the incomparable sights of the Old City's four quarters.

"The Old City of Jerusalem was a definite highlight – I found it to be unique visually, intellectually and emotionally. I did a lot of sketches and some under-paintings, and I will construct the artwork in America from some of my photographic images," she says.

In Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the visiting men and women toured Mira Maylor's glass studio and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. They met with Israeli art collector Bill Gross, attended a performance of renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman at the Israel Philharmonic; and spent a day drawing amid the archaeological ruins ofCaesarea.

"I've been to Israel before with my family, but this is my first time here viewing Israel as an artist and sharing my past experience with our friends who had not been here before. I'm enjoying their reactions," says Susie Gesundheit of Sherman Oaks, who does water media paintings and monotype printing. "There is kind of a wonderment. I think it's been enlightening."

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