After 18 years of efforts, continuous obstacles and challenges, we are pleased to announce the completion of the renovation and furnishing of our long awaited home, the 1900 Tile Factory in the Old City of Jerusalem.
In 1998, with special thanks to the Kassissieh family, Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art saw in the old factory an opportunity for something new: a chance to develop a proposal for the adaptive reuse of the Tile Factory building as a space in which to expand the Foundation’s own activities. The space had then been neglected for decades, making it a prime spot for the accumulation of waste and debris. Not until 2006 was Al-Ma’mal able to progress with the first stages of our renovation plans for the space, with the generous support of the Faisal Husseini Foundation; Al-Ma’mal also teamed up with Riwaq Centre for Architectural Conservation (Ramallah), and a number of UNESCO field officers and architects to work on these early planning stages. The project was able to take advantage, too, of the recommendations and suggestions of UNESCO’s International Committee of Experts regarding the potential of unused buildings in Jerusalem for employment as community-oriented facilities.
Between 2006 and 2011, the development of the Tile Factory was disrupted both by financial constraints and, unfortunately, certain challenges from the Israeli authorities. However, the team’s determination to see out the successful completion of the project remained strong – perhaps even strengthened by the various obstructions! Eventually, generous grants from The Islamic Development Bank, Welfare Association and ALECSO enabled Al-Ma’mal to finish all the renovation work in the beginning of 2013. Plans for furnishing and fully equipping the new space were soon under way.
In 2013 we moved into our new space however did not have the means to furnish nor the opportunity to celebrate this achievement. The final stages of the refurbishments, including the artist residency studio, furnishing and fixtures have now been completed thanks to the support of the Consulate General of Italy in Jerusalem, The Consulate General of France, and Mr. Zahi Khoury.
Although this evening celebrates our long journey, it is merely the beginning of a new chapter. During these tense and violent days in Jerusalem, it is crucial that we continue our activities and reach out to the local community by activating the Tile Factory to its full potential. We need your support to help us fulfil our activities and maintain a Palestinian cultural and secular voice in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Gift is the first of our fundraising efforts to support our programs and activities in 2016, featuring a group exhibition and silent auction. The Gift presents a diverse selection of affordable artworks; paintings, photographs, design products and more, for over 30 contemporary Palestinian artists from across Palestinian towns and cities. The silent auction has a maximum bidding price of $750, thus potential buyers have to be quick and smart with their bids - the first bidder to reach the maximum price closes the deal! Only 30% of sales will go to Al-Ma’mal and the remaining 70% to support artists for their talent and enduring efforts.
Ahed Izhiman, Alaa Abu Asad, Amjad Ghannam, Ayed Arafah, Bashir Qonqar, Bassel al-Amad, Benji Boyadgian, Christina Bullata, Easam Darawshi, Hanan Armaly, Hani Amra, Inas Halabi, Issa Freij, Jawad Al-Malhi, Johnny Andoni, Jumana Emil Abboud, Khaled Jarrar, Local Industries, Majd Abdel Hamid, Majdal Nateel, Manal Mahamid, Mirna Bamieh, Muhammad al-Haj, Nissreen Najjar, Noor Abed, Noor Abu Arafeh, Ola Zaitoun, Ruba Salameh, Salama Safadi, Salman Al Nawati, Shareef Sarhan, Subhi Abbadsi, & Yazan Khalili.
Exhibition was generously supported by: Bank of Palestine
Exhibition dates: 9 December - 20 January 2016