By: Ronit Svirsky , Photour
A pastoral residential environment near the sea probably contributes creativity, at least that seems to be the case in Bustan HaGalil. Along the years, artists, members of the settlement, had created works of art as they were inspired by the landscape and the natural materials the area has to offer. As the agriculture started losing its appeal, the creativity increased and many artists opened their houses for the public.
Personal meeting with artists
In the homes of the artists of Bustan HaGalil you can meet the artist in person and hear explanations about the art process and the environment it is created in. That way it is possible to go from house to house on the "Path of the Art" and follow the path of the different artworks; different styles of quilting, fabric prints, dollhouse, sculptures and ornaments with a combination of wood and iron, a store that offers all the materials for making a quilt and a historical hiking path that leads to the sea. The visitors can receive a map that describes the route of the "Path of the Art" and hike based on the sites that are marked in it.
The first stop that is marked with the numbers 1-2 is the Artists' House. The country structure with the red tile roof is divided in two wings: On the first there is an exhibition of the village's artists; sculpturing, painting and textile. And on the other wing there are the artworks of the settlement's younger generation. At the moment, the center is inactive but soon it will return to normal activity.
Stop number 3 is Debby Sternberg's Quilt center. There she presents traditional and up-to-date quilts with various techniques she learned from her friend from the settlement Maureen Nachmani. When she first started she went out to look for fabrics and tools that may refine the traditional technique and make the creation process faster without harming the required precision. Debby went to the United States and brought suitable fabrics and tools. She opened a Studio-Store that offers workshops and courses for learning the technique. In the store you can find hundreds of colorful fabrics in various patterns. Debby also runs workshops and fabric dyeing. When you arrive, you can browse through the books and pick fabrics for a personal quilt, all over a cup of coffee. The place is open every Saturday between 10:00-13:30. Tel. 054-4722894
Stop number 4 is the O'sheehan Quilt Gallery. This is where the ladies of Bustan HaGalil first learned to love quilting. Maureen Nachmani established her first gallery and the only one of its kind in Israel, which is dedicated for changing exhibits of quilting, in an old unused henhouse. In the gallery there are artworks by the artists of Bustan HaGalil and from all across Israel, while each work has its own story behind it. Maureen's gallery is surrounded by fruit trees and Bamboos and looks as if it was inspired by the Japanese culture. When Maureen first immigrated to Israel she shared her enthusiasm to quilting with the women of the area. She gathered a group of artists who meet once a week to stick needles in colorful fabrics. The current exhibition is called "Let's open a window" (Niftah Halon) and it includes quilting of the landscape you can see from a window. Among the participating artists you can find Ruth Barak, Edna Friedlander and Orit Modiano. Open every Saturday between 10:00- 13:30 Tel. 054-4723176
On the sign in the 5th stop it is written "Ruhach Hateva" (The spirit of Nature). Yossi Tannenbaum exhibits in it carved works made out of wood, stone and iron. Yossi's creation process starts by observing the wood and through carving he gives the natural wood the final touch. He carves the fish around the eye of the wood and he starts carving the duck from the tail that nature already designed for him. Thus, he creates a Camel, a Dinosaur, an Egret, tables, benches, shelves and mirrors. He creates them from all kinds of trees that grow in the area, Pecan trees, Carob, Olive, Ficus and Avocado. It is open on the first Saturday of every month between 10:30 – 13:30 or when arranging in advance, tel.052-3890839
The 6th stop is located inside a container in the yard of Ogenia Reinharz. It is called "Grandma Renya's Dollhouse", it is surrounded by green lawns and the Western Galilee Mountains, and its exterior does not indicate on its interior. Renya, Ogenia's mother passed away at the age of 86. She lived in Tel Aviv and for twenty five years she created thousands of dolls made of fabric. The collection grew and as her health deteriorated she started worrying about its fate. Ogenia decided to fulfill her mother's wish and preserve the collection. She purchased a container and turned it into a dollhouse, inspired by the original house Renya lived in, in Tel Aviv. The dollhouse is open for visitors and you can watch a movie that documents Renya's method of work. It is open on the first Saturday of every month between 10:30 – 13:30 or if arranged in advanced, tel. 054-2515618
Picnic on the seashore
The sea path is the 7th stop and it is nature's gallery, the landscapes, the shores and the sea that are part of Bustan HaGalil's rural magic. The sea path begins at the north-west end of the settlement and leads to a natural shoreline between Acre and Shavei Zion. The area that stretches from Acre to Yasef Stream is sandy while from Yasef Stream to Shavei Zion there are Kurkar rocks along the shore. It observes the coastline landscape from Rosh Hanikra in the north to the Carmel ridge in the south. The length of the coast is 4 km and it harbors dive sites with old sunken boats, which attract many fishermen and divers. Varied coast vegetation, partly rare and protected grows in the area. In winter time when the sea is stormy, the waves might reach up to 4 meters and more and the strength of the crashing waves on the shore adds flavor to the experience of the trip. The shore is suitable for having a picnic or a tea break on the way to the course's final destination. Open for the public, no charge.
Another art studio is the Fabric Dyeing Studio of Chesi Naveh. The Naveh family farmstead is surrounded by an avocado plantation and in its heart there is a small cowshed and a country house. 17 years ago she began painting on silk and cotton fabrics in a traditional ancient method from the East. In this method you tie the fabric in different forms and dip it in hot paint. The inspiration for the creation derives from every leaf and flower that blooms around the house. The painted fabrics are being used to create silk scarves, decorative cushions and tablecloths. She also creates quilt blankets and decorative wall carpets with embroidery additions. A while ago Chesi inaugurated a new studio next to her house where you can see her work and join dyeing workshops. In the first Saturday of every month between 10:30 -13:30 or when arranged in advance, tel. 054-4770015.
A final stop that was added to the chain of artists belongs to Tina Nagar and it is called Nomad Gallery. Tina arrived to Bustan HaGalil with her family following the evacuation of Gush Katif. The container which was used to transfer the content of their home remained empty and became the proper space for her to exhibit her photography. She discovered her photography talent as she was parting from Nisanit settlement. Tina documented her home in Nisanit and the flowers that grew in her garden on Gaza's sands. She meets with visitors and tells of her photos and the process she went through. Tel. 054-7591708
Zimmers between orchards
In Bustan HaGalil there is a wide variety of Zimmers, some are old and some only recently opened. Habiktot Shel Yossi (Yossi's Cabins) are three wooden cabins surrounded by greenery, spice gardens and vast grassy terrain with a wide view to Rosh Hanikra. Tel. 050-2890839. Bikta Babustan (Cabin in the Orchard), are two wooden cabins located in a banana plantation. A quilt made by the homeowner is placed on the double bed and there is a fishing net hung from the ceiling. Another stone unit, built in a Japanese style with a colorful Kimono is awaiting guests. In the yard there is a swimming pool, giant Jacuzzi, ping-pong table, pool table and a fireplace. Tel. 054-4723176. Bein Galil VeYam (Between Galilee and the sea) are four brand new villas in a two story structure that are suitable for couples or families celebrating an occasion. To each villa there is an attached garden, well-cared-for yard and a country balcony; furniture and other items that integrate wood with stone; giant Jacuzzi attached to the bedroom unit in addition with hydro-massage shower. Furthermore, there is a large suite with access for the disabled. Tel. 054-4722946. Bikta Bamata (Cabin in the plantation) are a couple of cabins located in the heart of an avocado plantation with a shaded balcony. Green paths pass through a spice garden and tree plantations. Inside the Zimmer there is a large Jacuzzi with a view to the avocado plantation. In each cabin there is a living room, armchair and accessorized kitchen. There are two TV screens, a stereo system and DVD. Tel. 04-981171
Villas and wooden cabins
Shahar Bakfar (dawn in the village) offers cabins fit for couples designed as an open space with Jacuzzi near the bed. A green yard surrounded with banana trees and Bougainvilleas and an attached balcony with wooden furniture. Tel. 0546654410. Pitom Katom (Suddenly orange) is a new country accommodation area among the strawberry trees, pomegranates and banana plantations. 2 accommodation units that look like private villas with a sitting area, bedroom and attached Jacuzzi hidden behind a decorative curtain. LCD units, accessorized kitchen and a large terrace with a pergola. Tel. 052-3750569. Bezel HaPecan (In the shadow of the Pecan) are wooden cabins that are only a small walk away form the sea, with a green yard and a hammock and herbal tea from the spice garden. Tel. 04-9817230