As of 2013 I have been living,, in the charming little town-pardes chana karkur where I enjoy working and teaching art, mostly papier-mâché and recycled art, in my studio. Occasionally illustrating childrens' books, always creating.
Together with six other artists, I am co-partner of the "Yetzira MeKomit" [Local Creations] Gallery, situated in the town of Zichron Yaakov, where my work is exhibited and sold.
Come the spring of every year, I hold an open studio as part of the "Omanim bamoshava"-Artists in the vilage event, together with all of the other resident artists of Pardes chana Karkur .
All year round, visitors are welcome to visit the studio (please be sure to coordinate visits in advance).
Now, let's return to the beginning ...
I was born in Israel, in the winter of 1956. Always drawing, cutting and pasting, sewing -anything I could lay my hands on, including my mother's new duvet, much to her dismay.
In 1978, after I had finished high-school, completed my army service, and enjoyed a tour of Europe, I dived into my career as an illustrator, combining my art with my passion for books and storytelling. I was fortunate to illustrate the very books I had grown up with as a child, such as "Hana'le VeSimlat HaShabbat" (Hannah and her Shabbat Dress), as well as stories by Oscar Wilde and Hans Christian Andersen. I got to know authors such as Levin Kipnis, Hagit BenZimen and Smadar Shir, all for whom I have great respect and admiration.
Later on, I was previledged to be among the founding members of the Illustrators' Union of Israel, more so when my work was included in the very first Illustrators' Union Exhibitions.
I married and had three wonderful and talented girls, and after an 18year career as an illustrator, having illustrated over 200 books, I thought it time for a new professional direction.
In 1997, I graduated from Beit Berl Art School, where I studied puppetry as well as qualifying as an arts instructor. It is there that I met my wonderful redheaded teacher and mentor Miki Ulman who introduced me to the wonders of papier-mâché, for which I am ever grateful to her.
I stayed on at Beit Berl, where I began my teaching career, teaching puppetry to students at the Art School. I then taught the art of drawing, illustration and puppetry to the young and adult members of the Benyamina community.
In 2001, I apprenticed in sculpture and carpentry at De Anza College, California, while living for three years with my family in Silicon Valley. During this time, I also taught papier-mâché to the local Israeli community.
And finally, I combined all of my knowledge of arts and crafts - sculpture and drawing, carpentry and sewing - and created a unique combination, collage of materials and methods into the new ground breaking "green" [recycled] art. I realized that I had discovered a new way of teaching art that equally suited me as well as my students, allowing all of us to experience limitless personal creativity. How could it get any better than that?
Even as a child, my favorite books were books about art, the classic artists, the great masters of the renaissance, the avant-garde of the impressionism and expressionism. I was enchanted by Matisse, Van-Gogh, Monet, and their colleagues, through whom I learned to observe and to draw. However, the three artists who remain a source of inspiration to this day are Antonio Gaudi, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and Niki de Saint Phalle, and I am very grateful.
In 1987 I was fortunate to meet the late Noa Blass, a musician, a wonderful teacher and a spiritual woman of renowned respect. Over the years we had known each other I was thrilled to illustrate some of the children's books she wrote, and make the puppets that she used when she taught her music classes. Years later my illustrations accompanied the spiritual journey that she took, and was even privileged to learn meditation and spiritual advancement under her guidance - and for all this and more, she will always have my love and gratitude.
I believe that art heals both the artist and the spectator.
I believe that art connects individuals to their own spirituality as well as connecting us to the spirituality of the universe around us.
I believe that art belong to all of us, wherever we may live, whatever age we may be, in whatever we do.
Liat Binyamini Ariel