By Jou Pabalate, Zahra Anwer, Seyma Saricimen and Areeb Al Shathri
HONE YOUR SKILLS
Before we send you on your way to create the next Mona Lisa or bathroom mural, we thought we might school you on Riyadh’s art schools.
Arts and Skills Institute
ASI is the first institute in Riyadh to offer diploma programs for Visual Arts and Fashion Design. The Box Hill Institute affiliate has been the training ground of many successful local designers and artists, some having made a name for themselves regionally and internationally. The courses at ASI are a mix of theoretical and practical skills, resulting in well-rounded graduates. Apart from the actual curriculums, ASI also offers different workshops, lectures, and classes related to art, design and fashion. It has its own L’Art Pur gallery that showcases different artists, as well as the work of ASI students.
Location: Takhassussi St.
Raffles Design Institute Riyadh
Raffles Riyadh is one of many Raffles institutes scattered across the globe. A private education provider, they provide innovative design courses that are quite hard to find in the Kingdom. They technically don’t have an arts program but instead offer visual communication. They also have fashion design, fashion marketing, interior design, jewelry design and yes, game design! It is a good option for creatives who want to explore alternative courses in the city.
Location: Home Offices, Oruba St.
College of Fine Arts and Design, PNU
Princess Nora University is first to offer post-graduate programs in the field of art, design and fashion. Despite being relatively new, the college of Fine Arts and Design is quickly becoming the go to place for aspiring artists and designers. We are quite impressed to find out they offer sculpture, visual art and printing, and history of art. For those wanting a more technology driven course, they are the first academe to have an Innovation and product design curriculum and also offers graphic design and digital media.
Location: Princess Nora University
When it comes to buying art supplies for the truly dedicated, our store options aren’t very broad. But do not despair, because although the store options are limited, the supplies are not.
Curio Art Supplies
Making their new home the Maathar District, Curio is arguably one of best art supply stores around! The moment you walk through their doors the feeling of being in an artist’s incredibly organized warehouse will inevitably wash over you. This artists’ wet dream carries several hard to find paint companies. But if you’re a beginner, don’t be intimidated by the store; the staff are helpful and really know their business so do not hesitate to ask them for help. They also carry everything from instructional books to professional materials and canvases for artists and crafters alike.
Location: Intersection of Prince Sultan and Prince Turki Al Awwal
Al Shark Bookstore
It may not look like much, but every DIY Riyadhi knows about this place. The arts and crafts haven is essentially a cluster-mess of a megastore in the best way possible. It carries everything from sharpeners to fabrics. One time we even found a horse mask for some unknown reason. Al-Shark is the type of store you could get lost in for hours exploring the potential their stock has. If you are a multi-medium artist, a DIY nut or a crafter, this store is a must.
Locations: Olaya Dist., Taiba Market
Rawdah Dist., Khalid bin Walid St.
Badiah Dist., Madinah Rd.
The best way to get your juices flowing is to trigger your imagination with some art. Here are some stops along your artistic journey.
L’art Pur Gallery
Founded in 1999 by Princess Adwa bint Yazid bin Abdallah, L’Art Pur Gallery is one of the largest art galleries in the Middle East, designed in a museum style. Its 540 m2 of exhibition space are dedicated to the exhibition of Saudi and international artists, art talks and art events.
Lam Art Gallery
Lam Art Gallery is a cutting-edge contemporary art gallery and artist collective showcasing a wide range of Middle Eastern paintings, photographs, sculptures, and design items.
It aims to showcase the very best of art that promotes the awareness of Saudi and Middle Eastern culture and values and inspires public interest in the arts. They endeavor to support and nurture aspiring artists by exhibiting their artwork.
Lumas made its way to Riyadh after being established in some of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, including, London, Paris, Milan, New York and Berlin. Aimed to be Saudi’s center for visual art experiences, this new art landmark speaks to all art enthusiasts.
You can find a combination of a fully functional art space and shopping boutique where original high-quality photographic art prints can easily be observed, experienced, customized and acquired at affordable cost.
Location: The Boulevard Riyadh, Takhassousi St.
Hewar Art Gallery
Hewar Art Gallery is a hidden gem with beautiful showcase of Arab art pieces located in the heart of Riyadh. This gallery is a home for Arab modern and contemporary art and has an in-house collection of some of the best art from the region’s many talented artists.
Location: Kingdom Tower
Naila Art Gallery
Naila Art Gallery is an innovative gallery which displays work by both local and international artists. The gallery itself is unique in the Saudi art community as an infinitely reconfigurable space where you can view work of different artists in international exhibitions, local shows, and art symposiums alike.
Acoustic Tea Lounge
It’s a lovely place to enjoy a nice chat with a friend, read a book or work surrounded with an inspired and inspiring artsy atmosphere. The lounge provides a completely sophisticated, sensual, yet casual dining arts gallery experience for the visitors who frequent the city’s casual dining arts and entertainment venues.
WORK WORK WORK WORK
If you’re looking for spaces to paint to the canvas -or your finger to the clay, whatever your interests are- these are some options for you to explore.
Alaan is a multi-functional contemporary gallery, educational hub, library, restaurant, shop and coffeehouse located in the heart of Riyadh. Dedicated to nurturing emerging and established contemporary artists and designers from Saudi Arabia, the region and across the globe. The space hosts workshops and activities for young people and children, providing a stimulating environment for learning and exploration and is also available to be rented for a number of different functions including filming and photoshoots, screenings, private or corporate events or launches.
The Work Hub
The first co-working space and Tech hub in Saudi Arabia. With contemporary and flexible interiors that inspires creativity, it’s designed for over 40 space users and to host events and meetups for over 100 attendees. Artists, freelancers, startups members, and university students are all welcome to drop-in on any given day.
Designers Hub is a multipurpose creative space which includes a display of a book selection with design titles, coffee table within a trailer, display for fashion brands as well as an exhibition gallery. The hub has multi-functional rooms where you can work and get creative or hold workshops there, making it the perfect space to get your creative and artistic juices flowing.
She works is a modern and cozy space dedicated for creative entrepreneur women and business owners. They offer different spaces, fast Internet, meeting rooms, conference rooms and free coffee – we never say no to coffee.
Location: Al Thumama Rd., Ar Rabi
If you’ve got some artwork under your belt and you’re looking to show it off, we gotchu fam!
Naila Art Gallery
A contemporary art space, Naila Art Gallery has opened its doors to emerging local and regional artists. It is known to host a variety of exhibitions, like Art Riyadh, that aim to feature Saudi talents and their work. Further, in its commitment to champion the creative community, the gallery also represents Saudi Arabian artists – providing a venue for their shows or participating in international fairs and exhibits.
AMA Art Venue
Since its arrival in the Riyadh art scene, AMA has done its part in providing a venue and avenue for creativity in the city. From workshops to pop up exhibitions that foster local talent, this gallery is definitely here to stay. Its multifaceted approach to presenting artistry allows for it to showcase emerging artists as well as designers practicing different mediums.
Location: Diriyah, Bujairy Dist.
Show Your Work in Pop Up Events
In recent months, we have seen an upsurge of community events that provides a portion of their spaces for artists. This is a good route to take if you haven’t fully developed a series or collection just yet and would simply want to show Riyadhis your work. Who knows, you might even come across patrons who would be interested in sponsoring your craft.
Events to watch out for:
Art and Heritage