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המכללה האקדמית בית ברל > English > About Us > News > Newsletter > February 2021 Newsletter > “If They Can’t Come to the Gallery, the Gallery Will Go To Them”

“If They Can’t Come to the Gallery, the Gallery Will Go To Them”

Unable to offer its regular educational programming, HaMidrasha Gallery developed online innovations to comply with Covid-19 guidelines.

In November, instead of hosting students in person, the Gallery launched the online "Arts Activism" program, teaching high school students to address social issues through the arts. Mor Peled, a Beit Berl alumna and lecturer, designed and taught the pilot course to students from Tel Aviv's Tichonet High School.

"Teens can have a powerful impact on society and culture," explains Adina Pearlman Vardi, Director of the HaMidrasha Gallery. "They are motivated to take action and to create change in their communities. Our program aims to develop creative and critical thinking skills, enrich their view of their environment, and nurture an appreciation of art."

The program, including eight online sessions, enables high school students to study art in an interdisciplinary manner, grappling with critical issues in society around them. During the sessions, the students learned about social activism through different art media, and were introduced to art and artists relevant to the subjects being discussed. Their activism was then expressed through creative projects – either individually or in groups – that deal with a range of issues such as how the Internet influences identity and the way advertising blurs the line between the world of adults and the world of children. The ten final projects will soon be exhibited at the high school.

Following the success of the Tichonet pilot program, the Tel Aviv Municipality invited HaMidrasha Gallery to run a similar program at the Al Mustaqbal School in Yaffo. This time, the teacher will be Arab Israeli artist Salma Samar, who studied at Beit Berl's Faculty of Arts-HaMidrasha, and we are hopeful that some of the sessions will be in-person.

In late January, the Gallery also organized a major Zoom event titled "Art and Curating" for 10th-12th graders who are studying art but are unable to visit museums and galleries this year because of Covid-19. Over 500 students from 40 high schools across Israel zoomed in to learn from Guy Ben Ner, Dean of Beit Berl's Faculty of Arts-HaMidrasha, and Avi Lubin, curator of the HaMidrasha Gallery. Ben Ner, a renowned contemporary video artist, discussed different artistic techniques and showed examples of his work in museums around the world. Lubin described the curating process, using several recent exhibits to illustrate his approach.

On February 3rd, the Gallery held a special one-day online workshop led by artist Carolina Lahan for over 80 high school art students around the country: "Creating an Interactive Exhibition on the Wix Platform." Demand was high for the program, which will help 12th graders create their graduation exhibitions online.

Hopefully, the Gallery will soon be full of visitors and students again, and more in-person programming will be possible. In the meantime, the Gallery is bringing arts to the people.  

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