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Art, Urbanism Come Together in Jeddah

Art, Urbanism Come Together in Jeddah

Tuesday, 13 September, 2022 - 06:45
Hayy Jameel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Blending art with urbanism can change the face of cities. The Hayy Jameel arts hub in Jeddah has set this notion at the heart of its art commissioning program for its façade.

Hayy Jameel’s 17,000-square-meter white center remains a blank canvas awaiting the program’s winning artist to transform it into a piece of beauty.

At the end of this week, the program will reach its application deadline with plans to unveil the chosen work of art early next year 2023.

The annual art commissioning program provides an opportunity for local and foreign artists in the Kingdom to develop new works on a 25-meter-long panel placed on the façade of the building.

“Long-term goals of the program include giving an opportunity for the center’s spaces and façade to interact with the public and to become a destination for art and artists in Jeddah and the Kingdom as a whole,” Deputy Director of Art Jameel Sarah Al-Omran told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The program’s second edition is loaded with goals and ambitions to sponsor the largest possible number of artists. It also looks to provide guidance and direction for participating artists to produce a work that addresses the receiving community,” explained Al-Omran.

She clarified that this edition adopts an open invitation policy for selecting the work that will be featured on the center’s façade. In the first edition, a nomination mechanism was applied.

“This time, artists, curators, and elite art institutions from around the world will participate in the judging panel,” revealed Al-Omran.

When asked about the number of artists allowed to apply to the program, she said: “The invitation is open for every artist or artistic groups in Saudi Arabia aspiring to produce a distinctive artwork for the public.”

“The goal is for the place (Hayy Jameel) to become a destination for art and a destination for creativity groups in Jeddah,” said Al-Omran when asked about the possibility of transforming the center into a tourist destination.

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