The Art Workshop is a dynamic place for contemporary art exhibitions and education. It is located in the neighborhood of Ramat Eliyahu in Rishon Lezion which is largely comprised of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, striving to create a place for exchange between contemporary artists, curators, critics and the public.
The Art Workshop was established in 1978 by graduates from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem,which opened up a space in Yavne. The activity of the center was highly charged by the political conditions of the time and led to discussions around the role of art and activism, questioning how the artist and an art institute can reflect and react to volatile conditions of culture and politics. In 1989 The Art Workshop relocated to Ramat Eliyahu in Rishon Lezion and has remained there ever since, supported by the Rishon Lezion Municipality and its Authority for Culture and Art in the Municipal Corporation.
From 2013 through 2018, artistic director Orit Hasson Walder curated numerous exhibitions, continuing the Workshop’s longstanding tradition of activities and activism at the juncture between contemporary art, education, and activism while developing local culture. The Workshop facilitates an experimental space for the creation of new social paradigms bringing in new audiences and the community. Most of the installations shown in the Gallery are site-specific and based on local content. The Workshop encourages community art activities reflecting solidarity and which take place on behalf of local residents, providing a place and visibility for the various immigrant communities living in the area, while raising relevant geographic and political issues.
In addition, we have Café Eliyahu operating in the Workshop, a social coffeehouse run by young people who live in the neighborhood. The Gallery of All Things is an alternative exhibition space inspired by the “cabinet of curiosities” where “Outsider” and amateur art is exhibited, showing works created outside of the canonical art field and its circles.
As a public art space, the exhibition and education programs are developed with equal weight and are continually intertwined. The Art Workshop consistently questions the place of art institutions within society. The Art Workshop program includes The Gallery of All Things, exhibitions, talks and events, school courses and artists’ projects, social happenings and off-site activities, remaining a place that dares to make an impact and that values the potential of art within a community.