Ofra Friedland and Yair Medina have worked together for the past decade. Their different approaches and expertise
have produced a wealth of art projects, as well as designs, for prestigious architectural spaces,
both public and private — and culminated in the triumph of the KJ/RAMAZ Windows.
Ofra Friedland is among Israel’s more significant contemporary artists. Described as a lyricist in color, her art is rooted in Jewish tradition and Eretz Yisrael, with Jerusalem, where she lives and works, her constant inspiration. The walls of its Old City are visible from her studio, and its unique light is a recurring motif of her work.
Friedland’s roots go back to Jaffa, where she was born in 1959 to European immigrants, to the young State of Israel. Her surroundings and her heritage — the Bible, Jewish history and literature, Israeli life, landscapes and the people within them — thrill her and inform her art. Nature, people, faith, and land, the past, the future, and their integration are her creative themes and her inspirational wellspring.
Working in different media (oils, fresco, sculpture, ceramics, tapestry, stained glass, and more), it was for an oil painting that Friedland first received recognition. Over the years, she has produced several series in oils inspired by Biblical themes, and is best known for her stirring Five Books of Moses, now recreated in the KJ/RAMAZ five glorious stained glass windows.
Prolific and industrious, Friedland has mastered numerous materials and techniques to display her artistic vision. This has made her a popular designer of complete environments, from paintings to sculpture to rugs and more, for religious, commercial, and private spaces, both inside Israel and out.
It is oils, however, that remains her most intuitive medium, and the one in which she most profoundly explores her passions: Israel and the past, present, and future, interweaving everyday reality with mighty concepts, threaded with the evolving human experience, washed in the special radiance of Jerusalem.
Artists converge on Yair Medina’s studio in Jerusalem. Creative consultant and production facilitator for a range of art processes, his atelier is where artistic vision becomes reality.
Born in Jerusalem where he has always lived, Yair’s roots in the city and in his country run deep. The cultural, historic, religious, and artistic currents are for him an endless source of inspiration. Helping realize art as human creation within today’s environment is his driving force.
The Jerusalem Fine Art Prints studio, which Yair established in 1996, provides professional and technical services for reproducing and recreating art in a variety of forms. He and his staff work not only to the highest professional standards but always view the technical process through an artistic and human prism, bringing the artist’s creative vision at the outset to the completed artwork at the end. Trained as a photographer, his eye captures details while seeing the picture as a whole, enabling him to predict both opportunities and obstacles in the creative process.
Jerusalem Fine Art Prints and Yair work with leading artists, and private and public institutes and organizations. Prominent international cultural centers, from the British Library to the Vatican, include in their collections the unique artist’s books produced in the studio. And the studio is currently photographically digitizing the Dead Sea Scrolls for the Israel Antiquities Authority, using NASA technology.
With Jerusalem his focal point, Yair works globally, aiming for a cultural legacy that demonstrates creative dreams can be fulfilled.
Born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1972 to an artistic family, Barak’s father Meyer is an acclaimed painter, his sisters musicians, his brother an architect, and his mother a fabric artist. Art is in their blood.
Barak studied art at school and did an appenticeship with David Manning, one of South Africa’s leading Stained-glass artists. He came to Israel in 1990 for a year in Yeshiva but ended up enlisting in the IDF the next year, combining Torah study and military service in the “Hesder” framework until 1995, when he was discharged from the army. He then started working with stained glass.
He envisions a real Jewish art form, a unique art form that is Jewish in its inception. Barak attempts to craft art that conveys a strong and moving Jewish feeling. His soul is intertwined with his Jewish subject matter and that’s exactly what he wants to express. Barak told me, “I don’t wish to make art that is Jewish, but Jewish art, that is Jewish in its idea, subject, feeling and method.”