It is well known that Israel was founded with a spirit of collectivity and cooperation: people joining forces to find a way to entice life from a land that presented countless obstacles. A century ago, the first kibbutzim were established with a utopian plan of shared responsibility and shared benefits—a deep-seated mandate of teamwork.
While collective strategies may be simply pragmatic on a farm or in an office workplace, they provide a different kind of advantage in a creative environment: when artists get together, their thinking and ideas can percolate in new and unexpected ways. Israel is home to a number of collaborative organizations devoted to the arts, including Artspace Tel Aviv, Indie Photography Group, Hanina, and the Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center in Tel Aviv, and the venerable Hutzot HaYotzer artists’ colony in Jerusalem.
Founded in 1968, Hutzot HaYotzer (which translates to “Potter’s Lane”) has nurtured many Israeli artists and craftspeople over the decades. Since 1978 it has been a hub of the Jerusalem Arts and Crafts Festival—which includes fine works by painters, sculptors, leatherworkers, fiber-artist, and silversmiths, and also hosts wonderful outdoor concerts.