General Exhibition Safed
|תערוכת הכללית של צפת|
|Exhibition of Tzfat artists, past and present.|
The central exhibition of Tzfat’s Artist Quarter Association is located in the Artist Quarter of Safed . Visitors to the General Exhibition can see work of Tzfat artists from the past and the present.
During the days of the British Mandate, Safed attracted a number of well-known artists who lived and worked in the city. Following the War of Independence and Tzfat’s liberation, dozens of Israel’s top painters, sculptors and craftsmen bought properties in the Artists Quarter and opened studios and galleries. Most artists lived in Safed during the summers and returned to the Tel Aviv area during the winters, though some artists lived in Safed year-round.
The Tzfat artists organized themselves into the Safed Artists Quarter Association to advance their goal of creating a thriving artists community in Tzfat. The municipality provided the old Market Mosque -- an Arab mosque that, pre-independence, had served as the main mosque of Safed’s Arab population. This building had been constructed in 1902 and was called the “Market Mosque because the weekly marketplace of the city was held next to the mosque.
Members of the early Artist Quarter Association included some of Israel’s greatest artists of the 20th century including Moshe Castel, Yitzhak Frenel, Lea Nikel, Yossl Bergner and Menachem Shemi, Mordechai Levanon, Samson Holtzman, Aryeh Merzer and Ziona Tajar. These artists, together with other Tzfat artists, banded together to create the Safed Artists Quarter Association and establish a General Exhibition which would exhibit the works of all the Quarter’s artists.
The exhibited works in the General Exhibition include paintings and sculptures. The Artist Quarter Association only includes fine art and does not invite craftspeople to join the association or exhibit their work in the General Exhibition. The association employs staff who maintain the General Exhibition throughout the year.
The General Exhibition displays originals and lithographs of dozens of Tzfat artists, including artists who once worked in Tzfat but have since passed away. Visitors are encouraged to explore the exhibited art which is also available for purchase. The General Exhibition only exhibits the works of artists who are, or were during their lifetime, members of the Safed Artists Quarter Association.
The General Exhibition of the Artists Quarter is located on Alorzoroff Street below the Judith Gallery on the edge of the Artist Quarter. It borders the tourist bus parking lot and the Big Stairs which separate the Artist Quarter from the Old Jewish Quarter.
The courtyard of the General Exhibition has a cafe where people can sit outside or, in inclement weather, indoors. There are also a number of studios of local artists and craftspeople which are located across the courtyard from the General Exhibition.