One of Jeddah’s major art space’s is opening an outpost in the desert city of Al Ula. In case you’re wondering which, it’s of course the pioneering Athr Gallery, a space that has played a major role in shaping Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art scene.
The new 500-square-meter structure, which will be called Althr Gallery Al Ula and is adorned by geometric shapes and intricate brickwork, is located on the main strip of Al Jadidah, a newly rebuilt quarter near to the Old Town and a few kilometers from the Hegra heritage site.
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Of course, the new space is set to be equally invested in tourists and the local community, by providing a location for people to participate in workshops and classes, as well as hold exhibitions. Among its plans, Athr Gallery Al Ula will feature collaborative projects in its new art space. Having launched in March, the opening exhibition featured the works of Saudi artists Ahaad Alamoudi, Sara Abdu, and Mohammad Al Faraj.
“We wanted to be in the city that is leading cultural development in Saudi Arabia,” says Mohammed Hafiz, co-founder of the Athr Gallery. “We see an opportunity to engage with our national and international audiences, and the gallery is going to offer experimental exhibitions that will engage with the public.”
“It’s a combination of the right place and the right time, combined with passion and commitment, a great team and an amazing group of artists,” Hafiz continues. “We believe in the bigger picture and the long-term approach to the current changes. We see galleries around the world becoming international players — why wouldn’t we become one of them?”