Every year at the time of the festival of Passover the town of Ma’alot in Israel’s Upper Galilee hosts the renowned Stone in the Galilee Symposium at Lake Monfort. An event capturing the attention of sculptors the world over, the Stone in the Galilee Symposium has been an active part in the Israeli activities calender since 1992. In 2015, the Maalot Stone in the Galilee Symphosium will take place between April 6-8.
Not only do sculptors vie for the first place award, they also compete to have their work of art placed in the most prestigious parts of the city. After the event the sculptures are placed throughout Ma’alot, along the boulevards and walking paths as well as adorning the numerous kikars (traffic circles) and fountains.
Many of the artists come from overseas and stay nearby in order to participate in the event that ends with public viewings and the votes from the artistic judging committee responsible for the awards and placements throughout the city.
During the few days of Chol HaMoed the sculptors are nearly finished with their work and the myriads of tourists, locals, friends and family members come to inspect and admire the works in progress. Additionally, surrounding the lake there are kiosks and activity booths for the visitors to engage themselves in as well as boating on the lake. In a similar theme to the professional sculpting, several soapstone and pumice carving stations where children (and adults) can make their own necklaces or mini-sculptures to bring home.
By: Shem Tov Sasson. A Contributing Journalist for Tourist Israel, Shem Tov lives in the small Israeli city of Ma’alot. His personal blog about his experiences and adventures in the Holy Land can be found at Israel’s Good Name.