The coastal city of Bat Yam, just south of Tel Aviv has in the last weeks seen the emergence of a makeshift, temporary artists colony and gallery on the city’s main beach. Set to remain in place for about a month, the Bat Yam Artists Colony will host artists from Israel and abroad, ranging in style from visual arts, through to the performing arts. The artists will live in temporary structures along the beach, and the gallery space will be within the abandoned Riviera nightclub. The Bat Yam Artists Colony will live during the month of August, 2011.
The emergence of this artistic initiative stems from the Bat Yam Municipal Government who have been trying to promote this area of the city, decaying in much of its urban form, as a center for experimental urban architecture. By funding the project, they aim to raise the profile of this intention, and promote the cultural life of their city.
The construction of the gallery has not involved large changes from the guerrilla structure that the Riviera nightclub is. The architects have simply given it a coat of paint, and redecorated. The nightclub, which was highly successful in the 1950’s and 60’s closed in the late 70’s and has since been derelict. It is hoped that creating an artistic space here will give Bat Yam a niche in the creation of the long boardwalk currently under construction between the city, Tel Aviv, and Herzliya beyond Tel Aviv to the north.
The second stage of the project will involve the conversion of another part of the building to create a permanent exhibition space and thus the creation of a permanent cultural space of note, for this city.