From Dubai to Jeddah, Art Jameel is Pushing Arab Art Forward

The art institute is making its mark

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You might already be familiar with Jameel Arts Center, the Dubai-based institution behind some of your favorite exhibitions and the UAE’s ‘Youth Takeover,’ for its commitment to empowering young talent. Well, they’ve expanded their mission beyond the Emirates, opening a new art center in Saudi Arabia’s coastal city, Jeddah. 

Called Hayy Jameel, the new venture is its very own art complex dedicated to creativity in the Kingdom. Its purpose? Bringing together the broadest range of creative disciplines in one neighborhood, hence the name ‘Hayy’ meaning neighbourhood in Arabic. 

As of now, the new centre has officially opened its doors and welcomed in its first set of residents. Among them is the leading Saudi Arabian gallery Athr, which is setting is focus on immersive, multi-sensory art. If you’re looking to check out the region’s highest-tech installations, Athr’s exhibitions are a good place to start. 

Hayy has also brought on the first comedy club in Saudi Arabia as part of its roster of residents. Al Comedy Club, which was first established in 2012 by stand-up comedian Yaser Bakr. The new space is set to become a new home for comedy in the Kingdom, with its very own community theater at its heart. 

The new institute’s range of creative disciplines doesn’t end there. Between architect-turned-furniture designer Albara Osama’s design studio ‘Riwaq Dahr’ and multi-disciplinary design house ‘Al Mohtaraf’, you’ll find artisanal bakeries, cafes and eateries to browse through. Aysh Academy, a local baking institute, has found its home in Hayy Jameel, bringing visitors hands-on culinary experiences and workshops on the art of bread and pastries. 

Ever wondered what making milk kefir entails? Hayy Jameel can teach you. ‘The Fundamentals of Milk Kefir with Health in a Jar’ is among the workshops the institute offers. As part of their running exhibition ‘Staple: What is on your plate?’, the workshop is set to cover the techniques behind milk kefir whilst taking participants on a journey to the Caucasus Mountains through the 2000-year-old practice. 

And if you’re in town to check out their exhibitions, their inaugural exhibit ‘Staple: What’s on your plate?’ is running through April 22, exploring the hidden stories of the food people consume on a daily basis. ‘Illuminate: A Noor Riyadh Capsule’ currently takes over Hayy Jameel’s first floor, featuring a series of immersive light installations by 11 major Saudi artists, including the renowned Ahmed Mater. 

Illuminate: A Noor Riyadh Capsule

December 6- February 6

‘Staple: What’s on your plate?

December 6 – April 22

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