The Palestinian Art Court – Al Hoash
Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 03.10.2007:
The Palestinian Art Court – Al Hoash has been a collaboration of thoughts and dreams that emerged into a reality due to the hard work and belief of those involved in its creation. Al Hoash is an independent non-profit organization that is based in Jerusalem. It was founded to form a core for a future Palestinian Art Museum in Jerusalem and to be a centre dedicated to the preservation and advancement of Palestinian art.
The idea of the Palestinian Art Court – Al Hoash came from the recognition of the true need for a centre concerned with enhancing the cultural status in Jerusalem especially through visual and plastic arts, and for maintaining the Palestinian cultural identity of the city. Al Hoash came to fulfil this need and to become a home institution and a resource for the artists and their artwork – that which attracts artists, art enthusiasts, art students, and tourists. In addition, Al Hoash works to build the bridge that connects the cultural art movement in Jerusalem to Palestinian cities, Arab countries, and the rest of the world.
The mission of the Palestinian Art Court – Al Hoash is to collect, preserve, interpret, and promote visual arts in Palestine. This mission is achieved through a series of programmes and projects that Al Hoash carries out, which include art promotion, education, and community outreach as well as art documentation and preservation. A comprehensive series of exhibitions that feature renowned Palestinian artists and highlight the talents of yet-unknown Palestinian youth is the main focus of the gallery. During the last two years, exhibitions featuring works by Hasan Hourani, Jawad Malhi, Ibrahim Nubani, and many others were held at the gallery. Al Hoash also hosts a monthly film screening of Palestinian short films, documentaries, and video art in an effort to raise awareness concerning this legitimate form of art.
In addition, Al Hoash provides a programme of art courses and workshops that target women, children, youth, underprivileged communities, and the surrounding schools. Last year, the programme of workshops was very successful and incorporated over 750 participants – students, youth, and women. The Art Residency programme brings together Palestinian artists from the Diaspora and foreign artists to work on thematic art projects in an attempt to encourage art production and creativity. This programme aims to build bridges of cultural exchange and communication among Palestinian, Arab, and international artists as it incorporates the work of Palestinian artists and involves community participation.
Al Hoash is also working on a long-term project to build the Palestinian art archive. The objective of the archive is to create a contemporary file for Palestinian artists that would serve to record the various styles and periods of Palestinian art production. The archive would eventually be an integral part of the museum. Al Hoash has also started a series of publications commencing with the book entitled Palestinian Women Artists – The Land = The Body = The Narrative, which is intended to be the first in a series of books on art in Palestine. The book presents an anthology of Palestinian women artists accompanied by analytical essays and visual presentations.
All the programmes mentioned above are integral to the framework of the museum and pave the road towards its establishment. It is crucial to give space to the current trends in art and to be aware of the socio-political forces that are shaping Palestinian art and the international trends that cannot be ignored. At the same time it is critical for the Palestinian Art Museum not to favour one art form over another. The mission of this institution is to promote Palestinian visual arts in all its forms.
This Week in Palestine