Jeddah art festival kicks off in style



JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN

Published — Tuesday 26 February 2013

Last update 26 February 2013 1:56 am

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Saud Al-Sheikhi, director of the Ministry of Culture and Information in the Makkah region, inaugurated the Jeddah Arabian Wings Haii art festival on behalf of Minister of Culture and Information Abdulaziz Khoja on Sunday at Theatro Mall.
Amongst much hype and excitement, 26 artists from around the Kingdom gathered to showcase their innovative and contemporary artwork.  The opening witnessed fascinating live art performances, including a sculpture carving show by Ajeib Yousef and a body art show by Al-Najood group, which were the highlights of the evening. 
Al-Sheikhi praised Najlaa Felemban, the founder of Arabian Wings, for her hard work and the great execution of the festival, while Mohammed Bahrawi, the co-founder, expressed his pride in being part of such a great art initiative.  Bahrawi explained the group’s mission to promote the talent of Saudi artists both within the Kingdom and on the international front. 
“Art and artists allow nations to interact and exchange on the cultural and social levels. This art exhibition allows us the opportunity to showcase our heritage and to reach out to people across the world in an expressive and dynamic manner. We are immensely proud to be part of this successful initiative that sheds light on contemporary art in the Kingdom,” he said. 
“Art is a means for people to exchange knowledge, share experiences and express their inner feelings; it is a bridge linking people to one another despite their differences,” he added. 
Meanwhile, Al-Sheikhi reiterated the government’s and the Ministry of Culture and Information’s support to developing the talents of local artists and in promoting their work on the international scene.  The exhibition also features a limited edition collection of artwork, which aims to make artistic pieces available for every Saudi household, while still respecting the principles of Islam and without reducing the financial value of the original artwork. 
Nahar Marzok, president of the Saudi Art and Culture Association in Jeddah, said the limited edition displayed innovative artwork in a completely different angle that has not been produced by Saudi artists before. 
“We would like to see more of this type of unique work that will project the Saudi art scene to new heights both within the Kingdom and internationally.” 
Commenting on the exhibition, Fady Jameel, president of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI), said, “I am extremely proud of Arabian Wings’ work, they have done a fantastic job. Arabian Wings Haii has given art lovers the opportunity to discover and appreciate local talents within the vicinity of their own city.”
Arabian Wings Art Company, ALJCI, Brown Book Dubai, the Saudi Art and Culture Association and the Ministry of Culture and Information, organized the festival. 
The festival will run until Thursday with innovative art shows everyday, including a live sculpture carving show by Ajeib Yousef, a liquid show by Khalid bin Afif, a caricature art illustration by Mazen Al-Ramal and a graffiti visual by Mazen Al-Shemrani. 

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