Jacob Elbaz is an award-winning, documentary photographer who founded the Three Rivers Art Project. He began his way on Kibbutz Sde Nehemiah in 1955 in a youth group after emigrating with his family from Morocco. At the age of 20 he bought his first camera and has been producing Israeli photos and Israeli artistic footage evers since. In 1963, when the Jordan River overflowed, his first Israeli photograph appeared on the cover page of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. That's how his professional career began, and continued on to Toronto where he worked as a photographer for the Canadian Jewish News. During this period he began to trade in art and produce prints for artists. He later opened galleries in SoHo, New York, worked with Andy Warhol and produced prints for artists: Yaakov Agam, Arie Azan, Nissan Engel and others.
A home for Israeli Photographs
After 36 years, Jacob decided to return to Sde Nehemiah to realize a dream and create a Galilee center for art. His dream was to create a home for Israeli photos, Israeli face art and Israeli artistic footage.
He rented unused spaces from the kibbutz and renovated them. This is how a space used in the past as a sewing workshop of the kibbutz became the Sewing workshop for photography - a gallery that displays his Israeli photography exhibitions. The electricity workshop of the kibbutz became the Electricity Gallery - a gallery that displays temporary art exhibitions, including Israeli face art. And the first machinery room became an artist’s studio – the Motor room for painting that serves as a professional space for both senior and young emerging painters. According to Jacob's social and business outlook, the encounter with the local community is a central component of the project. Indeed, such contact is inevitable because all the spaces are located in the heart of the kibbutz.
Innovative Israeli Face Art
Denize Bennason is an exemplar of the focus on the human form, and on Israeli Face art. Denize started a few years ago as a common variety hobby (point and shoot) photographer.
It took quite a lot of time for Denize to pinpoint what really interested her. Understanding arrived by exploring different techniques to improve her Israeli face art, portrait photography, people in motion walking running street photography, on motorbikes, on bycicle and horse back. She realized it was people who really fascinated her, ordinary people living their daily lives; photography is just a tool that allows her to observe and study them closely.