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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > Summer 2021 Newsletter > Students Reveal Personal Worlds in HaMidrasha's Art Exhibition

Students Reveal Personal Worlds in HaMidrasha's Art Exhibition

"There was more realism in the works this year," muses Barak Ravitz, the curator of the Graduation Exhibition.

​"Perhaps this relates to Covid-19 and the fact that our students spent two semesters studying from home. On the surface, the pandemic is not apparent in their works. Instead they turned inward, revealing their personal worlds through their art," he adds.

Beit Berl College's Faculty of Arts-HaMidrasha recently held its annual Graduation Exhibition, with works from 23 talented art students. The exhibition is a culmination of four years of studies, and an opportunity for the young artists to show what they have learned. As in the past, students used a wide variety of media, although this year there was an unusually large share of drawings, in addition to sculpture, photography, performance art, video and sound art.

This year's Graduation Exhibition featured a variety of skillfully executed and thought-provoking pieces, including Galia Sartiel's "Road" – a striking installation that involved a life-size paved road, stretching from one end of the room to the other, together with a video. "Something about the road's sensory experience, its smell, how it feels under the feet, the noise it makes when you walk on it, makes me look at it from up close and recognize its destructiveness alongside its beauty – since it is also a way that leads to somewhere else," Sartiel explains. The accompanying documentary-style video describes life between two neighboring villages in the West Bank, one Jewish and one Palestinian, and the tense relationship that evolves following the construction of the Separation Barrier.

Galia is a History and Literature teacher who started studying at HaMidrasha four years ago and plans to combine her teaching career with her love of art. "I really enjoyed the program. The teachers were serious and there was a warm atmosphere," she says.

Following a terrorist attack during which he was badly injured, Claude Moshe Kemoun decided to make art a central part of his life six years ago. When he was 21, Claude made Aliyah from France and joined the army. He became ultra-Orthodox and today, at age 41, he has seven children and lives in the Haredi community of Beitar Illit. During his rehabilitation in the hospital, he started attending art classes and a social worker encouraged him to pursue academic studies. "I felt that I have to do it. Art is a part of me and my dream is to be able to do art all day," he attests.

Kemoun's oil paintings are jarring and deceptive, in a style unexpected from an ultra-Orthodox artist. "All my art starts from Judaism, usually a particular Biblical verse or a Hassidic concept, and I express ideas through pop themes and bright colors. I'm inspired by comics and pop culture, and I like to combine different worlds. HaMidrasha was a challenge for me, but I received a lot of support. Everyone was nice and I really developed my art," he reveals.

This year's Graduation Exhibition demonstrates the diversity, breadth and talent of HaMidrasha students, who are now poised to make an impact on Israel's art community.  

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