Happy Backgammon
Happy Backgammon by the Halili Sisters Photo by Courtesy
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Sure, lots of Israeli artists have made it big in New York and Berlin in recent years, but there are still plenty of them here, slathering paint on blank canvases, snapping shots of their surroundings or shooting innovative (if sometimes obscure) videos. This week, locals and visitors have the chance to see the fruits of their creative labors at the annual Fresh Paint art fair.

Fresh Paint launched in 2008 to promote Israel's contemporary art scene and introduce it to a broader audience that doesn’t make the gallery rounds on a regular basis.

Unlike galleries, which don’t usually charge an admission fee, Fresh Paint does (NIS 45) – but don't fret, you get ample bang for your buck. Some two dozen new and established Israeli galleries – and the artists they represent – are taking part in the event, while the fair's "Greenhouse" will showcase dozens of emerging independent artists handpicked for inclusion by a special committee.

This year, the fair has branched out to include the first-ever Fresh Design fair, with projects from more than 26 designers and studios. There's also a design "Greenhouse" featuring about 100 items that run the gamut from the familiar and functional to the decorative and conceptual.

If your creative juices are still flowing, stop by the Fresh Paint Salon, where encounters with art world and other cultural figures will be held, along with lectures, panels and video screenings. (The salon is open to the general public at no extra cost.)

For more information, see www.freshpaint.co.il

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, May 21-23, 5 P.M. to 11 P.M.; Friday, May 24, 10 A.M. to 6 P.M.; Saturday, May 25, 10 A.M. to 10 P.M.

Admission is NIS 45 for both fairs; NIS 38 for "Maximum Tel Aviv" credit card holders; children under 5 get in free.

48 Tel Giborim St., south Tel Aviv