A Unique East-West Synthesis

Ashdod’s Museum of Art perseveres under rocket fire as a vibrant center of contemporary art with an exhibit featuring Israeli art that combines Middle Eastern heritage with Western sensibilities.

“After a not very easy month, we’re starting to get back into our routine”, the Ashdod Museum of Art posted on Facebook last Thursday during the brief ceasefire. Although that hopeful wish was dashed by rocket fire from Gaza that even preceded the 72-hour deadline, the Museum continues, as it has been doing since its inauguration in 2003, to operate as a vibrant center of Israeli and international modern and contemporary art.

The Ashdod Museum of Art, part of the port city’s Monart Center for the Arts, is situated in the city center overlooking the Marina. The Museum’s architecture, inside and out, provide unusual display spaces in its 12 galleries. There are also two halls, conservatory, ballet school and dance center, as well as an outdoor performance area shaded by a 13 meter glass high pyramid.

Ashdod-Museum_exterior+interior

The first curator was renowned Israel Prize winner Yona Fischer, whose art collection is now part of the permanent collection. Fischer shaped the Museum along the French model of regional museums that relate to local history, culture and Ashdod’s unique characteristics; the interconnected cube-shaped galleries were, for example, inspired by shipping containers at the port. Exhibitions at the museum foster mutual connections and an ongoing dialogue between local Ashdod artists and their counterparts from Israel’s central region, between Israeli artists and international ones.

Thursday’s Facebook post also invited the public to see the current exhibition, “Until You Get Out of My Voice”, which explores the art of Israelis of Middle Eastern origin as that unique Israeli synthesis of Western cultural templates and the artist’s personal history and heritage.

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Artist: David Adika

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Artist: Elham Rokni

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Artists: Left – Itzik-Badash. Right – Hanna Sahar

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Mandala. Artist: Yehudit Guetta

Visit their website for more information about the Ashdod Museum of Art. To show support and wish them easier times, “Like” them on Facebook.

About Rachel Neiman

A veteran media professional who has lived in Israel since 1984, Rachel has been part of the ISRAEL21c organization since 2008. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Globes Online, the English-language edition of Israel’s leading business daily, and before that, at The Jerusalem Post, as a business reporter, feature writer, and consumer columnist. Rachel began writing about Israeli technology companies at LINK Israel’s Business and Technology Magazine and is a professional Hebrew to English translator. In her spare time, she is an active member of the Havurat Tel Aviv congregation, and the Holyland Hash House Harriers, part of an international running and drinking disorganization.