About the project
The Simon Bolivar Garden & Playground is located between Olsvanger and Shmaryahu Levin Streets, next to the Argentina School. It was named in memory of Simon Bolivar, who led military forces to free the northern portion of South America from Spanish rule in the early 19th Century, resulting in independence for Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. The park features a main lawn surrounded by a walking path, a play area, and pine trees characteristic of the forest area just beyond the neighborhood. Prayer to the Mountain Ridge, a sculpture by Michael Gross (1920-2004), one of Israel’s leading painters and sculptors and recipient of the Israel Prize for Sculpture in 2002, was erected in the park in 1975. The minimalist, pointed arch sculpture is a response to the specific landscape and vista offered by the site: the tall, vertical form relates to the neighborhood’s high-density housing, while the white line of the leaning arch leads the observer’s eye to the view beyond. The sculpture’s sharp-edged yet gently curving form clearly expresses what curators of Gross’s work have described as “unresolved tension between heroism and lyricism, asceticism and sensuality” and that which “begins with a love of the boundless and arrives at the painful tenderness of contraction. Jerusalem Pine, a small stone sculpture created by Noam Rabinovich ((b. 1950, Israel) as part of the Jerusalem Stone Sculpture Workshop was installed in the park in 1992.