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Art & Culture

Art through the eyes of challenged youth

RIYADH: An art exhibition titled “Hidden Voices: Art Through the Eyes of Challenged Youth” opened in the lobby of the Faisaliah Tower in Riyadh on Saturday.
The Deutsche Bank, through its Middle East Foundation, sponsored the show, in aid of the Intellectual Education Institute for Girls in East Riyadh.
The artwork was created by children and youth with intellectual, physical, communication and behavioral challenges. Many of the artists and their families joined clients and staff of Deutsch Bank at the glamorous opening ceremony.
Jamal Alkishi, chief executive officer of Deutsche Securities Saudi Arabia, said each year the Middle East Foundation funds a number of worthy causes from education and arts to sustainability and volunteering. This year the foundation partnered with the institute to sponsor the two-week art show, which runs to Nov. 23.
Dina Fatani, an art teacher at the institute worked with her grade 10 and 11 students to create the artwork on display.
“The inspiration behind the show was to introduce our students to renowned artists, who have painted bold and memorable pieces of art and allow them to display their artistic ability by re-imagining these pieces in their own style,” Fatani said.
Their interpretation of the work of Picasso, Van Gogh, Kandinsky and Klimt was reflected through each student’s individual and unique perspective.
The artwork will be auctioned at the end of the show and the money raised will benefit the institution.
The bank’s Middle East Foundation donated a Tobii C12 communication device to the institution. The device enables individuals, who are unable to speak or have difficulty speaking, to communicate digitally by eye gaze or by touch.
Fatani thanked the bank’s Middle East Foundation for the donation and “for providing these girls with the opportunity to display their artistic abilities in their own style. In addition, having the Tobii C12 device would improve the life of these girls by enhancing their communication skills and allowing them to be participate more in their community.”
Michael Lerner, head of communications for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “It gives us great pleasure to be part of this wonderful cooperation. With the growing importance of Saudi Arabia for our business in the MENA region, it was one of the Foundation’s core desires to give back to the Saudi Arabian community.”
Founded in 1971, the Intellectual Education Institute in East Riyadh provides education and health services to children and youth with physical, developmental, and behavioral disorders such as autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.

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