Reach Art, (potentially bad) wordplay on reaching out, was a literal attempt by me to reach out to expat artists in Jeddah.
Look, the way I see it, you don’t learn anything until you step out of your comfort zone. You may be completely blind, feeling about in the dark to find footing, and you definitely could fall flat on your face. But you may also end up finding that light shining at the end of the tunnel. Eureka!
Reach Art turned out to be a bit of both: falling flat + shining light. By falling flat I mean that I definitely stumbled a lot. It isn’t easy to rope in four other artists and try to set up an art exhibition entirely by yourself in a foreign country that is generally not so welcoming to initiatives by outsiders. And every project is definitely a learning experience, from how to market an event to simple event details such as: how in the world is a pop up art show even orchestrated? But, in the end, after all that stumbling I CAN say that:
- I learnt A LOT: I met artists and art lovers galore! I learnt that there are definitely certain management details that need to be looked into when you try to put up art outdoors. I learnt that Jeddah is now giving out a sort of ‘art license’ to expats (because the Iqama isn’t like permanent resident cards of other countries, it does not give you explicit permission to work) so that they can legitimately form teams of artists which is extremely helpful if you want to exhibit your art in galleries! I’m definitely getting me one of those 😀
- Holistically, the event was a success: I mean, the place looked gorgeous, the weather was incredible, the view was phenomenal. Loads of people came, viewed and appreciated. And above all, the artists got what they wanted: i.e. people to come by, view, appreciate (and, of course, buy) their lovingly created art.
Here are some pictures from the event itself:
And a short video I instagram-ed while the exhibition was happening: