Leading Israeli Artists Selected for U.S. Residencies

The Schusterman Visiting Artist Program has announced the names of 14 leading Israeli artists it will place in residencies at colleges, universities and other cultural organizations across the U.S. this fall and next spring. The artists – renowned in a variety of disciplines, including filmmaking, choreography, music and literature – will spend two to four months presenting their work through relevant programming, classes, exhibitions and performances.

Among the 14 artists coming this year are filmmakers Dana Goren and Yael Hersonski, the winners of the Best Documentary award at the Jerusalem Film Festival in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Goren, who will be in residence this fall at JFilm: The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum, will teach at various schools throughout the city and will also engage the community by making a film with local residents.

Hersonski, whose Holocaust documentary A Film Unfinished has received enormous attention, including a rave review in The New York Times and several international awards, will be hosted by Tufts University in the spring.

“Since we launched the Schusterman Visiting Artists Program in 2008, 16 cities have hosted an unusually talented array of artists,” said Lynn Schusterman, chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. “These artists embody the vibrant, creative face of Israel and provide a meaningful way to connect North Americans to a diverse and complex contemporary Israel that goes beyond the prism of conflict.”

In addition to Goren and Hersonski, the Schusterman Visiting Artist Program cohort for fall 2010 through spring 2011 includes:

  • Photographer Assaf Evron and visual and performance artist Nelly Agassi, who will be hosted this fall by the Weinstein JCC in Richmond, VA. The residency will culminate in an exhibition of their work.
  • Performance and installation artist and musician Ohad Fishof, and dancer and choreographer Noa Zuk, who will be in residence at Ohio State University in the fall. Both will teach in OSU’s distinguished dance department; Fishof will also work with students in OSU’s Experimental Media and Movement Arts Lab.
  • Choreographers and dancers Yossi Berg and Oded Graf, who will be in residence this winter at the Chutzpah Festival, an international performing arts festival held each year in Vancouver, B.C. They will create a new work while there.
  • Writer Assaf Gavron, who will be at Chapman University in Orange, CA, this spring. Gavron has had best-selling novels in Israel, and his most recent, Almost Dead, was published last spring by HarperCollins. He has translated such writers as Philip Roth, J.D. Salinger and Jonathan Safran Foer, among others.
  • Musician Amir Gwirtzman, who presented 43 workshops, 16 concerts and three teaching sessions in 20 cities as an artist-in-residence last spring at The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life. Gwirtzman will take his 20 instruments on the road again this spring to perform in other cities and states served by the Institute.
  • Visual artist Tamar Harpaz, who will be in residence this spring at SPACES, an artist-run alternative space in Cleveland, OH. Harpaz, who works with optics, will create an installation in the SPACES gallery and engage audiences through gallery talks, master classes and other teaching opportunities.
  • One of Israel’s leading cinematographers, Yoav Kosh, who will be in residence at Colby College in Lewiston, ME, in the spring. He will also be at other colleges and universities in Maine and is working closely with the Maine Jewish Festival as well.
  • Pablo Utin, one of Israel’s leading film scholars and critics and the author of The New Israeli Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers. Utin is being hosted this fall by the Motion Pictures Department at the School of Communication at the University of Miami, the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies and the George Feldenkreis Program in Judaic Studies at the University of Miami, along with the UM Hillel.

With funding from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and others, the Schusterman Visiting Artist Program is one of the largest organized residency programs of Israeli artists ever launched in the U.S. It awards Israeli artists – including filmmakers, choreographers, musicians, writers and visual artists – long-term residencies at North American universities, museums, Jewish community centers and other cultural organizations, with a focus on fostering interaction between the artists and the communities where they are based.

For more information about the program and the artists, please visit the Schusterman Visiting Artist Program website.

image: Nelly Agassi, Whispers, 2004. Installation view at “Embroidered Action,” Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel.