News « The Jerusalem Artists House – בית האמנים בירושלים


The Winner of the 2019 Miron Sima Prize for the Visual Arts on the Theme of “Individual Portrait / Group Portrait” is Michal Mamit Vorka

 The winner of the 2019 Miron Sima Prize for the Visual Arts: Michal Mamit Vorka

The biannual prize, named after painter Miron Sima, is awarded for the fifth time. The theme for this year’s prize is

“Individual Portrait / Group Portrait.”

The prize, in the amount of NIS 20,000, will be awarded to Michal Mamit Vorka

at the opening of her exhibition at the Jerusalem Artists House on March 16, 2019

Prize committee: Tali Ben Nun, Ellen Ginton, Sharon Poliakine

Excerpts from the Committee’s Comments:
Michal Mamit Vorka (b. 1982) immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia at the age of two as part of Operation Moses, and grew up in Netanya. She is a graduate of the Multidisciplinary Art School, Shenkar College of Engineering, Design, and Art, and her painterly education also includes training under artists Israel Hershberg and Aram Gershuni. In recent years she has lived and worked in Tel Aviv.
Mamit Vorka represents a new generation of artists of Ethiopian origin who not only engage with the community’s tradition and its members’ lives in Israel, but also present social issues connected with the Ethiopian community’s struggle for their acceptance as an integral part of Israeli society, their identity and sense of belonging.
Mamit Vorka’s personal voice—as an artist, a woman, and an idealist, who paves her way in a hegemonic, stereotypical society—is also the voice of a silenced collective, a silenced minority. She is well aware of her power as an artist responding to the zeitgeist, the place, and the conflicts underlying the cultural, social, political, and artistic discourse. In the 2013 Shenkar graduation exhibition, art critic Galia Yahav described Mamit Vorka’s works as “painting in the tradition of new Social Realism, in the wake of ‘bad painting’ and protest art, which acerbically addresses the patronizing political treatment of black people and the issue of origin and social class.”
The lush coloration and acute expression characteristic of Mamit Vorka’s figurative paintings create an original, refined link between beauty, love, and tradition (the use of traditional Ethiopian textiles—scarves and dresses, or objects representing the community) and the criticism she embeds in the paintings via billboards, traffic signs, or ambiguous titles: e.g. a portrait of a dark-skinned man entitled Invisible Man (2017); a painting alluding to the removal of Ethiopian employees at Barkan Winery to comply with kosher regulations, features a wine bottle peeking from behind the artist’s shoulder, entitled Barkan Wine Behind the Blacks (2018); a painting from observation of a Tel Aviv street and a typical Bauhaus building contains a sign bearing the inscription “Addis Ababa Street” (2018). When she introduces the collective unconscious of the Ethiopian community into the “white” Tel Aviv landscape, she does so, she says, “against forgetfulness,” while in the same breath declaring: “The city is ours, too.”
Mamit Vorka gathers her subjects during routine, mundane walks in Tel Aviv. She observes the people, buildings, and public parks, painting mainly portraits and cityscapes. In all of her works she combines dark-skinned figures: a migrant worker from Africa whom she met in the café where she worked; random passersby who agreed to be depicted; acquaintances or foreigners from the Ethiopian community; and her own figure (usually with traditional characteristics). Together, her works create a multi-cultural collage which crystallizes into a humane, compassionate portrait that makes a total whole: Individual Portrait / Group Portrait.

Prize Committee: Tali Ben Nun, independent curator; Ellen Ginton, curator of Israeli art; Sharon Poliakine, artist and Head of the MFA program, Department of Fine arts, University of Haifa

New Exhibitions Opening December 2018-March 2019

The Artists House is Opening new exhibitions.

The opening: Saturday, December 22nd at 12 pm.

New Gallery Hours

Please see the new days and hours the Artists’ House is open:

Mon., Wed., Thurs. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Tues. 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 Fri. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Sat. 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Sun. closed

Hanagid Gallery: Opening hours


Sunday  closed
Monday  16:00-19:00
Tuesday  11:00-13:00, 16:00-20:00
Wednesday   10:00-13:00, 16:00-19:00
Thursday  10:00-13:00, 16:00-19:00
Friday  10:00-13:00
Saturday  11:00-14:00