Kibbutz Cabri is one of 270 kibbutzim in Israel. Located in Western Galilee, not far from the border with Lebanon, it is an example of how high-level contemporary artwork can flourish in the country, and should not necessarily grow only in an urban environment. Some impressionist painters knew that well.
When in the 1920’s Frank Lloyd Wright created Taliesin as a school, he stated that “the fine arts should stand at the center as inspiration. Education at Taliesin would explore painting, sculpture, music, drama and dance as divisions of architecture.” Years later, Black Mountain College in North Carolina included Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and William de Kooning.
Cabri fas founded in 1949. One of its founders was sculptor Yechiel Shemi (1922-2003,) who during a decade alternated between New York and Cabri as his working bases. He was the first Israeli artist whoes work was bought by MoMA, and later on a winner of the prestigious Israel Price. The etching workshop was founded 1n 1993. In 1996, Rachel and Dov Gottesman, art collectors actively involved in the fields of plastic art and music in Israel and abroad, arrived at Cabri and created the Gottesman Etching Center. In 2000, following a meeting in New York with the American artist Jim Dine, sculptor, photographer and master printmaking artist, they initiated a master class encounter with 12 Israeli artists.
When my friend Hanna Kaufman invited me to join her at the opening of an exhibit showing the work of her friend Dubi Harel, I immediatly accepted. I have heard of the place for many years, but had never been there. It was an inspiring visit.