To all friends and supporters of Barbur Gallery, greetings.
We would like to update you regarding the dramatic events that happened over the past 3 months in the life of the gallery, that led to stopping the gallery activity 3 weeks ago and opening of a kindergaten in the Barbur space.
At the beginning of June we were informed that in order to find a temporary solution for the neighbourhood day care centre which had to be renovated it was decided by the Lev Ha’ir community centre management to close Barbur and to move the kindergarten children into the gallery building for the duration of the renovations.
Although all of us are aware of the shortage of space in the city centre and of the necessity of finding a secure and suitable place for the children, that the closing down of an active and successful gallery is a problematic solution which is hard to understand. We have tried to persuade the Lev Ha’ir management and the Jerusalem Municipality to find an alternative arrangement which would not affect the operation of Barbur.
Unfortunately, despite wide support in the neighbourhood, the artistic community, municipality representatives, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Sport and some of the Lev Ha’ir management, in the end no alternative solution has been found for the children.
With mediation of the municipality we reluctantly agreed to a compromise whereby the Barbur Gallery would vacate its space on Shirizli Street for a period three months. The Jerusalem Municipality gave its guarantee that after this period the space would be returned to the gallery with a budget for required renovation. During this period, the gallery’s activities would be transferred to municipal shelter 821 on Einayim LeMishpat Street near the gallery and that scheduled exhibitions would be held in another space in the city.
As of today, as we feared, the disruption to the gallery’s activities has been extensive, in fact activity has completely ceased:
– The shelter which was given to Barbur as an alternative space has still not been cleared of material and is in need of renovation in order for us to transfer activities to there.
– Some of the core activities, such as the senior citizens’ drawing workshop, cannot be held in the shelter since it is not accessible to people unable to use the stairs.
– Despite all the efforts of the municipality plastic arts department, no space has been found for scheduled exhibitions, some of which have now been cancelled.
Despite all the above we are doing our best not to lose our optimism and we believe that Barbur Gallery will return to normal activities in the near future and that all the promises made to Barbur will be kept.
Now, more than ever, we need your involvement and support. Anyone who can help us in planning the continuation of Barbur’s activities is invited to respond to this post on facebook:
Wishes for happy and more tolerant new year,
Masha, Avi, Yanai, and Denis