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Amnon Ben Ami wins inaugural Ilana Elovic Bezalel Prize for Painting

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Amnon Ben Ami was awarded the first Ilana Elovic Bezalel Prize for Painting, which was named in memory of a self-taught Israeli-American artist.

The prize, which was launched internationally in December in search of a deserving Israeli artist, was presented Monday at the Bezalel Gallery in Tel Aviv. It carries an award of $20,000, as well as a catalogue and solo exhibition in November at the Bezalel Gallery in Jerusalem.

Ben Ami has presented several solo exhibitions during his 30-year career and has received numerous art prizes. Some 160 Israeli artists entered the contest.

Elovic was a self-taught Israeli-American artist who died in 2006 of ovarian cancer after producing a body of work that centered on her disease.

The daughter of Holocaust survivors, she served as a cartographer in the intelligence corps of the Israel Defense Forces. Following her army service, she worked as a draftsman in one of Israel’s leading architectural firms. Elovic designed jewelry and later turned to sculpture, ceramics and painting.