Jerusalem’s Manofim contemporary art festival celebrates its 13th season this year, opening Tuesday on Railway Park (Park Hamesila), a six-kilometer walking path that runs through the southern end of the city.
The annual event, on October 26-29, brings together the city’s artistic community through gallery exhibits, guided tours, musical events, family activities and personal meetings with artists.
It’s a welcome return from last year’s online, Zoom format, said Manofim founders and directors Le Hee Shulov and Rinat Edelstein.
The opening event will take place on Tuesday from 4 p.m. through 11 p.m. along the entire stretch of the grassy, walking-and-biking park lane that runs through the neighborhoods of Baka, German Colony, Mekor Chaim, Katamonim, Talpiot, Beit Safafa and Malha, once the location of the Ottoman-era Jerusalem rail line.
The event includes open houses of homes along the park, food tasting in Beit Safafa, lectures from urban planners and preservation experts about the future of the areas and neighborhoods along the route, storytelling relating to the history of this stretch of Jerusalem land, activities for kids, and musical performances.
The focus on the Railway Park, which starts at the refurbished First Station complex and winds its way toward the Biblical Zoo, stems from the manner in which the pedestrian park has changed the southern end of the city, mixing different residents together along its six-kilometer stretch, said Shulov and Edelstein.
When the two first began the festival in 2008, it was established in the Talpiot industrial zone, in the Art Cube Artists’ Studios situated above a garage, with events held in several of the area’s automotive repair shops.
There are still exhibits being shown at the Art Cube, along with dozens of other galleries and locations around the city.
The idea of Manofim is to have visitors go to as many of the exhibits, events and tours as possible, to get a wider sense of Jerusalem’s art world, according to the Manofim organizers.
Visitors can book 45-minute meetings with participating artists on Wednesday or Thursday evening and on Friday afternoon.
There are also guided tours of exhibits at local galleries, workshops for kids ages six through ten along Park Hamesila (on Wednesday), as well as at Ticho House, the New Gallery Artists’ Studio at Teddy Stadium, Hansen House and Art Cube throughout the three days of the festival.
A NIS 90 pass ($28) offers entry to all Manofim events, and costs NIS 60 ($18) for students and seniors.
A full listing of the Manofim schedule is at the festival website, in Hebrew and English.