The Freshpaint art fair and UBS launched a joint project this week – UBS Open Studios, a series of short videos showcasing artists under lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis and how they cope with the new reality.

The artists in the series share their personal stories – how the exhibitions and projects they had worked on for the past months have remained closed and empty or were inevitably delayed. Nevertheless, they continue to create and view this time as an opportunity for development, inspiration and creation.

At this time, the series features six artists from various fields, all of whom have participated in Freshpaint in past years: Aviv Grinberg, Hadar Mitz, Oren Fischer, Dafna Talmon, Darryl Hutchison and Naama Roth. Additional videos will be created and uploaded in the future. Grinberg is a recent graduate of the Under30 project of Forbes Israel.

Freshpaint is Israel’s largest annual art and design event, which has been held in Tel Aviv for over a decade. The fair is held in cooperation with the Tel Aviv Municipality and with the support of UBS, which has a long history of supporting contemporary art, artists and designers.

“When the coronavirus crisis began, we understood that the world was changing and that the culture and art industry would also come to a halt. So Freshpaint will open as soon as it is possible”, says Dr. Udi Dahan, Managing Director, UBS Wealth Management Israel.

“Thinking outside the box”

“We started thinking outside the box – what could be done to bridge the gap created by the transition from the real to the digital world, and how we can continue to communicate with the art world and our audience. Initially, everyone was concerned about health, and then immediately went to focus on the economic situation, which worries all of us. But we knew that down the road, the thirst and longing for culture and art will once again be on people’s minds, so we sought to create something that’s contemporary, in the spirit of the times. Our heart goes out to the artists who lost their livelihoods and we hope that very soon, they will come back and dazzle all of us with quality art”.

According to Yifat Gurion and Sharon Tillinger, Co-Founders of Freshpaint, the fair was established to promote the Israeli art and design scene. “This is a great platform for exposure and at the same time contributes to the livelihood of the artists and designers. We are currently unable to implement this platform in the real world and are working on new initiatives in the virtual world. The first is the series of videos, which are designed to provide a different perspective than what is currently going on in the virtual space – which expanded very rapidly during the coronavirus outbreak – online tours of exhibitions in galleries and museums.”

According to them, the videos were meant to give a glimpse at artists whose specific projects were hurt by the coronavirus lockdown. In the videos, they speak about their future plans and provide an optimistic view on how they intend to leverage the current situation in their favor.

“The production of the videos was made possible both by UBS’s support and by Freshpaint’s ability to reach these artists and embrace them- which demonstrates the wonderful partnership between the two entities that began in 2013 and continues to this day.”

The videos are highly appreciated by UBS’s headquarters, so some of them will be shared on UBS’s global channels, including on its social media networks in other countries.

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