Category: Exhibitions and Galleries Visited

The blog posts where I summarize my exploration of the local art community in Jeddah, such as gallery visits, art fairs and bazaars, and other events.

Visiting the Luminarium

A few days ago I heard that the Luminarium had arrived in Jeddah. Isn’t the name itself so awe-inspiring and mysterious? Reminded me instantly of the book ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern. Anyway, I took out some time on the weekend to go see the Luminarium and the first word I can think of to describe the experience is: mesmerizing. It was mesmerizing, fascinating, calming, stimulating all in one. It was a giant inflatable, handmade organism that glowed gently from within with flickering lights in different hues and colors and a gentle soothing rumble of music resonated within it. …

Exploring the Saudi Center for Fine Arts

Exploring the Saudi Center for Fine Arts

Day two of our art gallery tour series found us on the doorstep of The Saudi Center for Fine Arts. Where Arbab al Heraf had been an amorphous concept, leaving us with little knowledge what to expect and then surprising us with hospitality, inclusiveness and an indiscriminate love for the artistic, SCFA was quite a bit more disciplined and exclusive. There, I made it sound horrible didn’t I? Well what can I say, it was a tad bit disappointing in a few ways. The art gallery section of it was glorious. Glass walls, two floors, literally papered with gorgeous abstracts …

Visit to Arbab Al Heraf

Every expat I have ever met in Jeddah, artist or no, has always been absolutely certain of one fact: there is no room for the expat artist to grow in Jeddah’s local art scene. Yes, you can get a teaching job, yes, you can even visit art galleries superficially, but to be part of it all? Nope. Not happening. And for the longest time I believed them. After all, it IS daunting to step out of your comfort zone, to put yourself out there without even knowing the language, and try to find a space for yourself. But after the first Skype …

Expanding my horizons

I love Jeddah, I sincerely do. It’s been the place where I discovered my own strength and independence, and it has become home for me. So it hurts when I admit this, but arts and culture are severely impeded here. That is not to say that there is nothing artistic or cultural happening here, there is! There are numerous art galleries, art classes, bazaars and one-off music/film/comic conventions taking place. They just aren’t advertised so as to be accessible to all, since freedom of speech and behavior is slightly restricted here, and people don’t want to get on the wrong …

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