Artis is an independent nonprofit organization that broadens international awareness and understanding of contemporary visual art from Israel.

Location: New York , New York
Year founded: 2004


Artis is an independent nonprofit organization that broadens international awareness and understanding of contemporary visual art from Israel.

Artis supports artists – regardless of religion, race or ethnicity – who take creative and intellectual risks and who address important challenges through their practice. We champion innovation, experimentation and artistic excellence and support freedom of speech and expression for all people.

We actively engage in shaping global dialogue around, and in recognition of, contemporary visual art from Israel through public programs, research trips to Israel, grant programs, career development programs, and our comprehensive website:

Our work embraces three roles:

Presenter: We produce and present original curatorial content, often in partnership with organizations and individuals who share our core values.

Facilitator: We ensure that valuable projects, exhibitions, criticism and conversations emerge in a wide range of respected platforms.

Advocate: We promote the important contributions that artists make to our world and support projects that push artistic boundaries, inspire reflection, and encourage debate.

Core Values

We are committed to serving artists from Israel – regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual persuasion, political persuasion or additional national identity.

We are committed to nurturing artistic growth through our key program areas.

We are committed to partnering with institutions and individuals to present, facilitate and advocate for programs that engage diverse publics.

Who we support

  1. Artists who identify as being from Israel – regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, political persuasion or additional national identity (note: the Travel & Research Grants apply specifically to artists who are not from Israel).
  2. Artists who take creative and intellectual risks and articulate an original vision.
  3. Artists at critical junctures in their careers who can significantly benefit from Artis’ support.
  4. A range of international contemporary arts professionals in their efforts to enhance scholarship and understanding of art and artists from Israel.


Artis was founded in 2004 as a series of events, exhibitions and publications focused on art and artists from Israel during Armory Arts Week in New York. Artis is the vision of Rivka Saker, who founded it with the aim of raising international visibility and promotion for outstanding and under-recognized contemporary visual artists from Israel, and creating opportunities for exchange with the international art world. Artis hired its first Executive Director, Yael Reinharz, in 2008. During her tenure, Artis has distributed over $1 million in grants for artists and exhibitions worldwide in 16 countries, presented over 100 public programs and commissioned, hosted 130 international art professionals in Israel, and mentored dozens of artists in career development programs. In 2010, Artis received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in the State of New York and established its Board of Directors. The Artis logo transliterates Artis into Israel’s official languages of Hebrew and Arabic, reflecting a commitment to Israel’s diverse artistic voices.

Initial Artis Public Programs included panels such as Perceptions of Israeli Contemporary Art as part of the Global Scene with critics Francesco Bonami, Massimiliano Gioni, Dan Cameron, Elsa Longhauser and Smadar Sheffi at Sotheby’s, and a commissioned performance by Sigalit Landau of Bachus, a transformation of a bicycle-mounted concrete mixer in a large traveling, chiming, music box and ice cream giveaway point. Since 2004, Artis has regularly produced and presented public programs and commissions including talks, exhibitions, panels, performances with emerging and leading artists from Israel, most often in conjunction with other leading arts organizations such as the New Museum, Performa, the Jewish Museum, the Swiss Institute, Tate Modern, and many others. In 2012, Artis expanded its public program offerings to Los Angeles, presenting events at MoCA, For Your Art, RedCat, and many others. Artis has also participated in leading art fairs since 2011, including NADA New York, NADA Miami and the Armory Show.

Artis established its Grant Program in 2004, providing support for international exhibitions with artists from Israel as well as scholarship funds for students enrolled in the MFA program in visual arts at Columbia University. The Scholarship Fund was originally initiated by artist Jon Kessler, now an Artis trustee, to support the artist Guy Ben-Ner, who graduated in 2003. The Artis Grant Program has supported dozens of exhibitions in 16 countries, distributing over $1,000,000 towards exhibitions that advance innovative thinking about contemporary art from Israel.

In 2007, Artis organized its first Research Trip to Israel for museum directors, curators and writers. This week-long trip led directly to the creation of solo exhibitions of work by artists Yael Bartana at PS1 and Sigalit Landau at MoMA (both in New York), as well as the acquisition of 5 works by artists from Israel into MoMA’s collection. Soon thereafter, numerous articles in major publications such as Frieze, Artforum and the Art Newspaper began to take more serious consideration of the burgeoning community of artists from Israel by publishing essays and reviews and establishing relationships with local writers in Tel Aviv. Since then, Artis has continued to host two trips per year to Israel for influential, emerging and leading art professionals.

Since 2011, Artis has fostered Career Development opportunities for artists from Israel, first with workshops presented with Creative Capital in 2010 and 2011 in New York, and then in Tel Aviv through the Artist Career Development Program, in partnership with Asylum Arts and Artport, in Tel Aviv. With over 120 graduates to date, this intensive three-day program provides sustainability tools for emerging visual artists as well as an opportunity for artists to deepen connections within their own sense of community. The Artis team also mentors artists throughout the year with follow up workshops, studio visits and advisory services.

In 2014, Artis received a major gift of $1 million from an anonymous donor to advance opportunities for visual artists from Israel. The anonymous gift enabled Artis to continue its signature research trips and career development for artists, and to expand its grant program from $100,000 to $250,000 per year through four core grant areas that emphasize innovation, experimentation, cultural exchange, and artistic excellence in accordance with Artis’ Core Values. This important donation helped grow the Artis annual budget to $1 million and expand its staff, adding a new Artis base in Tel Aviv.


Artis receives funding from our Board of Directors, Foundations and individuals, and through earned income activities such as sales of Artis limited editions and collector trips. We operate independently of any governmental funding, and are not affiliated with any political party or platform.

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