“Shmezalel school for drawing and painting” is an outdoor project by the artist Natalia Zourabova , open for the attendance of wide public.
The project offers an alternative to the painting classes.
The goal is to challenge and encourage the participants and to welcome passers-by and observers to join the act of painting.
Painters and sketchers looking to hone their craft are invited to a weekly session at suppose locations around Tel Aviv. Sessions often feature staged scenes and models.
The meetings take place every Saturday. The duration of each session is three hours with one break. Participants are welcome to attend the school throughout the whole season, but can join single sessions as well if they wish. The meetings are suitable for ages 9-99. Equipment such as easels, professional paints and canvases are provided by Natalia Zourabova at the meeting point.
In each session, the group members sketch the same landscape, although the differences in technique, style, and focus are clearly evident.
During the meeting Natalia Zourabova corrects and helps the participants to lead their works.
Shmezalel is a project that wishes to continue the classical tradition (originated of France) of drawing from observation. This tradition has been adopted by artists and art students, spreading among painters of European and East European origins in the early 20th century. Subsequently, in the Soviet Union many artists contributed to the creation of a new aesthetic of Social Realism, rooted in the tradition of painting from observation. Shmezalel project encouraging the participants to portray in their works a contemporary urban Israeli environment (Tel Aviv's scenery or citizens), characterize the city and its spirit.
It relocates art, bringing it out of the artists' studios and venues to the streets - inviting local public (passers-by and observers) to join the act of nascence of a painting.
Shmezalel has a website and a facebook page,
providing weekly information about the location and time of the next meeting, but the full schedule of meetings is never disclosed. The venues include : Habima square, Rabin square, Neve Shaanan street, Jaffa Port, Tel Aviv port, Independence park, Tel Aviv seashore, Tel Aviv Central bus Station, Tel Aviv Museum of art , Bialik square, Hayarkon park, Rothschild boulevard, Hakarmel Market etc.Every venue has its own theme. Shmezalel advertises itself during the sessions with the aid of portable posters and banners, explaining the goal of the project and inviting viewers to participate. After each meeting, there is a weekly report showing the last sessions' results, including images of works and photos of the participants.
Shmezalel was successfully implemented in Tel Aviv in the period of August 2013 to June 2014 .