March 28, 2018
This was my fifth time exhibiting at "Bijoux" exhibition at the Norton Art Museum in Palm Beach, Florida. Five years ago, I arrived for the first time with great trepidation, with one collection that was a huge hit and sold out, and another that was relegated to the bottom shelf because it was not what people wanted. That week five years ago has turned out to be the best week of my year ever since. Tropical weather, palm trees, the sea, fantastic restaurants - and one small, successful museum, which is now under renovation and will be rather larger the next time I see it.
The best things in life and business just happen. I happened to arrive early for a meeting at a Tel-Aviv friend's studio, and the person who had a meeting before mine noticed me in the kitchen and demanded, “What’s that necklace you’re wearing? I want to show it to the people I work with, maybe they’ll like it.” That was Aviva Ben Sira. as director of the Association of Israel’s Decorative Arts (AIDA), she is influential. From that time on, AIDA has supported me, financially and emotionally. AIDA aims to offer Israeli artists the opportunity to travel to the United States with the same access as local artists. Dale and Doug Anderson are founding members of AIDA. They are art collectors who enthusiastically support Israel artists as their life mission. Along with financial assistance, Aida also provides encouragement, which is just as important. The patronage and encouragement from the Andersons, who are extremely knowledgeable and well respected in the art world were heartening: knowing they believed in me enough to invest their time, energy and support pushed me to advance my work. During the moments when I became discouraged (common for a self-employed artist), knowing that art collectors, who live and breathe art and the art world, believed in me boosted me even more than the financial support. At my first meeting with Aviva Ben Sira and curators from the United States, we talked about the age demographics of gallery owners around the world. Many artists were worried about their economic future. That meeting seems so long time ago now. Then, we were focused on the financial aspect, but no one prepared me for the fact that the people I would meet professionally at the Norton Museum, year after year, would become so dear to my heart.
Donna Schneier chairman of Bijoux The museum allows its popular and successful exhibitors to submit applications with new collections for the following year’s exhibition. Over the years, all the exhibitors from all over the world have gotten to know each other well. Pressures during work hours, crises when we are exhausted and hungry, allow us to see people as they really are, more so than it is possible in ordinary life.
I am proud to call the other exhibiting artists friends and colleagues. We are able to work together professionally in every situation, in spite of and because of all the little things we experience together. I am constantly astounded by the art my colleagues create from one exhibition to the next, and this propels me to work harder and harder.
Whatever the situation, whether a moment of crisis or repose, I know I can rely on the next email from Doug Anderson, asking me what’s new, what I’m working on, checking when my next interview is, or seeing if he can help me in any way. I can always be sure that the genuine interest and assistance I have been privileged to receive from AIDA does not end with the close of the exhibition.
I would love to introduce you to the Israeli team artist supported by Aida at the Bijoux exhibition celebrating together the opening of the Bijoux exhibition