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 side of the law. So the end result is that expats, ESPECIALLY non-arab expats, are left sadly out of the loop.
But you know what they say, where there is a will there is a way!
I spent this entire week (other than reading The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed) researching galleries, cafe’s, groups, people who were invested in promoting artistic endeavors in Jeddah. I am going to spend all of next week, visiting these places one by one; essentially leaving no stone unturned to come into contact with the elusive art loving community in Jeddah.
On top of that, I’ve come up with a small plan to host my own artistic event, beginning with a group exhibition for emerging artists and possibly evolving into a weekly meet up for like-minded people where we can all strive together to overcome artist’s block. Haha.
Let’s see how this pans out. Fingers crossed.
PS: I’m incredibly nervous about Symposium 1 which continues this Tuesday. I have never presented my artwork for critique to peers or teachers and my legs feel like jelly when I think that I may end up sounding completely artless (pun intended).