The founder of MECA, Eugene Lemay is an artist, visionary and accomplished entrepreneur who has built over half a dozen companies in the past 20 years, including Mana Contemporary. He is also an internationally known artist, having exhibited throughout the U.S., Europe, and Israel. He sits on the board of the Umm-el Fahem gallery in Israel, and is represented by Mike Weiss Gallery in Chelsea.
The child of an Arab-Catholic family, which later converted to Judaism, Mr. Lemay spent an influential 12 years living and studying in Israel. His work centers on the abstract and the Middle East. His series of abstracted photographs, Letters, exposes the root of written language as a metaphor for the human need to communicate. His work has recently been exhibited in solo shows at Total Arts Gallery in Dubai and Galeria De Art in Buenos Aires as well as a group show at Art Affairs Gallery in Amsterdam.
New York based Israeli artist Yigal Ozeri is a founder of MECA, he is also a board member of the Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation which is housed within Mana Contemporary.
Ozeri is best known for his large-scale cinematic portraits of young women in vast ambiguous landscapes. His near photo-realistic oil paintings capture the spirit of his subjects in a wide range of natural settings: from lush rainforests to arid deserts. Thousands of tiny brushstrokes animate the paintings’ surfaces and give way to an uncanny realism, overt beauty, and seductive power. The viewer is consequently compelled to gaze into the deeply symbolic realm between reality and fantasy. Ozeri has shown extensively around the world including solo exhibits in Bologna, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, and Munich. He is also in the permanent collections of the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, The Jewish Museum in New York, The New York Public Library, The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, The Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and the Albertina in Vienna, among others. He is represented by Mike Weiss Gallery in New York City.
An instrumental figure in the conception and development of MECA, Professor David Wakstein is the curator of the inaugural exhibition Spring, 2012. An accomplished artist living and working in Israel, his career spans from the late 1970s, with a concentration in painting and art education. In 1996, Prof. Wakstein founded Reshet -- a Network of Art Stations for Contemporary Art in the Periphery -- an association dedicated to the advancement of art-education and the making of art among and by children and teen-agers, from Israel's geographically peripheral regions. He has since established two galleries Ironi Ramla in Ramala and New Horizens in Ofakim.
Prof. Wakstein studied in the art department in Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, where he currently serves as a senior lecturer. He also teaches at the Oranim Academic College of Education.
An artist and activist, Said Abu Shakra is a leading member in the Arab community in Israel who has taken on an advisory role in the development of MECA. He is the founder and director of the Umm el-Fahem Gallery, the first Arab gallery dedicated to contemporary visual arts, which features works by Israeli artists, both Arabs and Jews, as well as works by artists from the greater Arab world and the West.
In 2006, Mr. Abu Shakra announced the creation of the first art museum in the Arab sector in Israel, the Umm el-Fahem Museum of Contemporary Art.
Mr. Abu Shakra is a graduate of the Hamidrasha School of Arts in Bet Berl.