By Sumaiyya Naseem
Art lovers in the Kingdom need not look further than Jeddah. With so many art galleries displaying works of art from local as well as international artists, Jeddah can be overwhelming for art lovers.
And if you are in the city during annual art events such as the Jeddah Art Week or 21, 39 then be prepared to witness one of the most up-and-coming art cities in the entire Middle East.
Hailed to be one of Jeddah’s best art galleries, Athr Gallery showcases some of the latest trends in Saudi contemporary art, and features both Saudi and international artists. The exhibits include photographs, ink drawings, montages, sculpture and scripture, and abstract works of art. The gallery also functions as an educational venture by providing lectures and forums which concern the Middle Eastern art scene. Featured artists include: Ahmed Mater, Dania Al Saleh, Hazem Harb and Saddek Wasil.
This international chain of art galleries is well known for its efforts in spreading the passion of Middle Eastern and its dynamic art across the globe. The galleries mostly showcase paintings by artists around the world. Ayyam Gallery also has a multilingual publishing division. Their art is vibrant, eye-catching and expressive as seen in the current exhibitions, including Mohammad Bozorgi’s painting ‘Transcendental Strokes’. Artists include: Ammar Al Beik, Athier, and Mohannad Orabi.
Darat Safeya Binzagr
One of Jeddah’s best art spots, this permanent exhibitions showcases the various art works by Safeya Binzagr. The collection includes: Binzagr’s famous Nuptials series, the Architectural Heritage series which depicts the traditional architecture of different Saudi Arabian regions, and a collection of the artist’s sketches. The website provides panoramic view of the gallery, however the experience is best enjoyed in person.
This International chain of commercial art galleries was founded in 2005 by Greg and Jane Sedgwick. It showcases contemporary works of art by talented artists which are available for purchase at great prices. The products include original artwork, posters and stationary. According to the owner, the purpose of the art gallery is to make the experience of visiting an art gallery less intimidating and more informative and accessible. The art series include: Arabic Tile Montage, Jamel the Camel, Fatima Hands and Calligraphica.
Jeddah Atelier for Fine Arts
In a combination of international art trends and local tastes, the veteran art gallery, Jeddah Atelier (owned by Hisham Qandeel), showcases Saudi modernist canvas paintings and sculptures by Saudi artists. The exhibitions are diverse for the variety of artists whose works are showcased. The annual Affordable Art Fair in Jeddah is also hosted by this art gallery with the aim to bring works by over 100 local artists for purchase by the public. Featured artists include: Ola Hejazi, Othman Al Kulzaim, and Abdullah Al Marzouk.
Arabian Wings Gallery
Funded by Abdul Lateef Jameel Community Initiatives, this active art organization was established with the purpose of giving the public access to local and international art. AW focuses on the Saudi art scene, and even includes residential programs for artists. They offer art workshops, seminars, lectures and recently organised the major iArt Exhibition in Jeddah. Their art gallery has a large capacity in which it showcases Saudi visual arts, Artists include: Sara Al Sudairy, Ali Al Hassan, Kamal Banjer and Wassma Hamidaddin.
Al Alamia Gallery
Along with art courses for people of all ages, this gallery focuses on authentic Islamic art, picturesque paintings and stunning landscapes. Original artworks by renowned Saudi artists are usually on sale at the gallery. Features artists include: Yasser Khattar, Mahamood Gharbawi, Abdullah Hammas, and Samir Trabulsi.
Nesma Art Gallery