Education October 20, 2014
As Education Month at ADC rolls on, we look across the seas to Jerusalem, Israel for our next School Spotlight, featuring Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. If you only consult the school’s website “About” page, you’ll learn that the school was established in 1906 by an artist named Boris Schatz. You will also discover that more than 2000 students attend Bezalel, studying toward undergraduate degrees in Fine Arts, Screen Based Arts, Architecture, Ceramics and Glass Design, Industrial Design, Jewelry and Fashion Design, Photography and Visual Communications. In addition, Bezalel offers graduate degrees in the fields of Fine Arts, Urban Design, Industrial Design and Policy and Theory of the Arts.
All good facts to know. But what is it really like to attend Bezalel, and why might one choose to do so? Professor Adi Stern gave ADC a deeper look into the Visual Communication department from an insider’s perspective.
ADC: Hi Professor Stern! Let’s start with a little background. What can you tell us about Bezalel Academy?
Stern: The Visual Communication department at Bezalel is the leading and most seasoned in Israel with over 400 students and 80 faculty members. We offer a wide range of courses in a variety of fields: Graphic-Typography Design, Illustration, Advertising Design, Interactive Design and Broadcast Design. Our method for qualifying and preparing young designers consists of two initial years devoted to foundation courses and two years of advanced specialization courses where they are free to chart their own path.
We ask our students what they plan on doing as designers to contribute to society and their community for a better world.
We encourage them to initiate and innovate both as individuals and as part of teams, with or without a client. We discuss Israeli alongside global design and the role of a designer in a technological world. We remind them to be zealous when it comes to striving for quality and excellence, to believe in themselves and in their individual creative truth. Above all, we guide them to create the new. To innovate, invent and create what no one has done before. And always remember there is another way.
In addition to yourself, could you name the distinguished faculty who teach at Bezalel?
Let’s see, Professor Rutu Modan, Mr. Guy Saggee, AGI, Ms. Michal Sahar and Ms. Merav Salomon, to name a few.
Please highlight a few folks who have carved a notable path since their days studying at Bezalel?
Noma Bar is a visual communication artist, illustrator and designer currently living and working in London, England. He’s published two highly-acclaimed books and has exhibited worldwide, including solo shows in London, New York and Paris. Noma’s work has become well known throughout the advertising world, winning various industry awards.
Ella Cohen is working as a freelance illustrator on different world-wide commissions. Her clients include: Wall Street Journal, Wrap, Wired U.K, New York Times, Eight, Howler, Nobrow, Time Out Tel Aviv and many others. She currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Eitan Cohen is a freelance multidisciplinary designer, art director, illustrator and video director. He recently moved to New York from Tel Aviv where he worled as an Art Director at Grey and BBDO. Some of his work has won numerous international awards. Eitan is currently working as a Creative Director at Talk space (a startup based in NY city).
Hopefully some of our ADC members will check out their work. How would one of your students describe Bezalel?
Well, Dana Elkis, a 4th year student in our Visual Communication program, has offered the following thoughts about Bezalel:
The moments you feel that you have found the solution and then you find an even better one; the fact that you need 25 hours a day; that there are so many little springboards placed in your way and you just need to try and jump as far as you can. Knowing that there are no boundaries. Knowing that there is a deadline. Embarking on a marathon until the correct solution is found. Getting a bit excited every time you are onto something new. Don’t stop talking. Constantly read about every big thing that happens outside and think how to make it even bigger in class. Dream. Because it’s possible. Knowing you are in the right place. Creating in Jerusalem. There is no other city like it in the world. A city which, every time, catches you unprepared for the next challenge it sets before you. There are no other people like those it raises. Being in Bezalel, which is a type of combination between history, tradition and progress that are always present in the process. Knowing you are surrounded by 400 incessant minds. Original. Interesting. And mainly my best friends. That is Bezalel’s Department of Visual Communication. Mine.
What makes Bezalel stand out from like-minded schools around the world, in your opinion?
The curriculum of the Visual Communication department at Bezalel, which encourages versatility and develops the ability for future mobility. The wide range of courses and disciplines, the option to customize a personalized learning program: vast and varied, touching upon many sub-specialties or focused and concentrated on one area – to be determined by the student’s preference.
And of course, we’ve saved the good news for last. What is the tuition at Bezalel?