A look at Saudi’s leading galleries and spaces.
Saudi Arabia is revolutionizing and is at its proverbial artistic peak with shows, international acclaim, and art galleries, setting homes for local and international artists to showcase narratives broadening the horizons of global discourse.
So, whether you are an art connoisseur, an art newbie, or simply in it for the gram, here are some must not miss art experiences in the country.
The Saudi Art Council presents the 21,39 Jeddah Arts 9th edition themed ‘Amakin’ curated by Venetia Porter.
The show ends June 3.
Location: SAC HQ, Gate 2, Gold Moor Mall, Jeddah.
Lakum Artspace is a multifunctional contemporary gallery in the heart of the capital city. They are known to host regular art shows, workshops, unique exhibitions and educational experience. Another great thing to explore, is the Lakum Shop that has in store art books and more.
Location: Al Urubah Branch Rd, Umm Al Hamam Al Gharbi, Riyadh
Bookbinding Workshop coming this May and June.
The Open Air Classic
A pillar of the Jeddah art scene. The Sculpture Museum is a must-see when in the city. It’s located along the Jeddah Corniche, also referred to as Al Hamra. Often overlooked, these sculptures each have their own unique story.
Location: Al Hamra Dist., Jeddah
The Big One
A three-level art complex that aims to serve the creative communities of The Prince Faisal bin Fahd Fine Arts Hall is under the purview by the Misk Art Institute, where they host most of their public programming. There is a permanent collection on the ground floor, and located on the top is the Baan exhibition, which continuously showcases emerging artists.
The Masaha space hosts workshops, educational programming, art residencies, and more in the establishment’s basement. Keep an eye out on their social media and website for more information and event table talk updates with local and international art experts.
Location: King Saud Rd, An Namudhajiyah, Riyadh
The Writings on the Wall
The notion that art can only be enjoyed in a confined space has long been debunked. In Khobar, an artist collective has adorned old walls with Street Art, creating the Khobar Art walk, a set of adjoining walls painted in vibrant colors and modern urban designs.
prowess live. The main instigator for the street art wall is a well-established, Dawi Gallery which is known to be a hub for art collectives and also has a exhibition hall that regularly hosts events as well as art shows.
Location: 7th St, Al Khobar Al Janubiyah, Al Khobar 34611
A hidden gem tucked inside the King Fahad National library is a rare collection of handmade literary marvels ranging from handwritten Quran’s and other personal journals that were hand drawn some of which are gilded in gold. The space is open to the public and is a must visit for all bibliophiles who may want to see intricate prowess live.
Location: King Fahd Rd, Al Olaya, Riyadh
The Arts Center
The Madina Arts Center (MAC), located in King Fahad Park, Alhadiqah, Madina, has been doing a lot to incubate and grow the local art scene in the region. Established in 2018 by HRH Prince Faisal Bin Salman, the center is especially known for
its programs, workshops and art clubs. The center is under the supervision and admisistration of Namaa AlMunawarah.
One of their programs is called Art 365 which gives new artists access to the gallery and other curatorial services to display their work. The program is free of charge and is made accessible for a week at a time, with all the help and supervision they may need.They also currently have three clubs they hope to expand to six; their most popular clubs include the Arabic font, Photography and Fine art clubs.
Location: Al Hadiqah, Al Madina
In Riyadh, the Jax District is quickly becoming the main hub for arts and culture.
This neighborhood has quite the residents, from creative studios like Swizz Beats’ Good Intentions, Ahmed Mater’s studio, to Vice’s HQ, and the Biennale. JAX 3 also has permanent street art murals created by local artists such as Rexchouk, kla5i, Deema AlOhaly, to name a few.
Another must-see in the district is the Tuwaiq sculptures,which are a set of marvelous hand-crafted creation.
Location: Al Diriyah Al Jadidah, Riyadh
- Nestled in a residential area in Jeddah is the Zawaya Gallery, which hosts solo exhibitions and displays of various genres of art.
Location: Marmer Tower, 3rd floor 303, Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz St., Jeddah
- Desert Designs Art Gallery, located in Khobar, is an art gallery that often hosts collections and exhibitions along with workshops. Check out their Instagram for news and updates on all upcoming events.
Location: Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Rd., Al Arabiya, Al Khobar
- Visit Noor Riyadh anytime and from anywhere. You can stroll inside and enjoy one of the largest light art exhibitions with a virtual tour. This virtual tour ends on June 12, 2023.
At Madina Art Center
- 10 day exhibition of King Salman Charter for Architecture and Urbanism.
- Two exhibitions for top artists Adel AlQurasish and Mouath Alaofi
- Portfolio development in person courses in cooperation with the MISK Art Insititute.
In June, the center will host a personal art exhibition for a promising solo artist in Madina region.
“Curators Guide to Enjoying Art”
How does one prepare for a gallery or art visit?
To get the most out of your visit to a gallery, I’d prepare ahead of time – look up the artist, the curator, and find out about the gallery owner(s).
This will give you a chance to think about the art and the concepts, ask questions, and interact with the gallery employees to learn more and appreciate the art on a more profound level.
What’s your ultimate advice for anyone visiting a gallery or viewing art for the first time?
Don’t try to digest all the information about an art piece or artist at once. They should also be open to revisiting exhibitions to discover something new. It’s a learning process.
Wided Rihana Khadraoui
Art Manager and Writer