Arab Art and Education Initiative kicks off in New York

Athier Mousawi’s “Clasp and Come Apart,” 2018. (Photo courtesy: Athier Mousawi)
Updated 15 October 2018
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Arab Art and Education Initiative kicks off in New York

DUBAI: The Arab Art and Education Initiative (AAEI) on Saturday launched a special year-long arts program in New York that will see exhibitions, artist talks and education programs in schools and universities spread the word about Arab art in the US.

The launch program is set to run from Oct. 13–23 and will feature special programs in collaboration with various cultural organizations.
A range of exhibitions and events are set to kick off during the week — read on for a rundown of what the organizers have in the pipeline.

Brooklyn Museum
Syria, Then and Now: Stories from Refugees a Century Apart
Oct. 13, 2018 – Jan. 13, 2019

This exhibition blends the discovery of medieval ceramics in Raqqa in the early 20th century with the present-day refugee crisis in Syria. A selection of artifacts from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection of Islamic Art will be paired with work by three contemporary Arab artists — Mohamad Hafez, Issam Kourbaj and Ginane Makki Bacho — to draw attention to refugees a century apart.

Washington Street Historical Society / Pioneer Works
Poets of Little Syria Guided Tours
Tours on Sunday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018

The Washington Street Historical Society will offer tours of what was once known as “Little Syria,” an enclave in the Washington Street area of Lower Manhattan that served as the cultural and economic heart of Arab America from the 1880s until the 1940s.

ArtX
Arab Street Artists Program
Oct.14 – 24, 2018

Made famous in New York in the 1970s, street art and graffiti have since transformed cities around the world. Launching with the first commission in October 2018, a series of artists from the Arab world, including Athier Mousawi and Abdullah Qandeel and Dubai-based Tahreek Studio will engage with the history of the form and its contemporary innovations in the Middle East.


2 Bridges Music Arts
October 14–24, 2018


2 Bridges Music Arts will showcase a curated selection of music, artists’ books, original artworks and graphic design posters from the Arab World in their Chinatown location.

The Museum of Modern Art
Modern Mondays – An Evening with Monira Al Qadiri
Monday, Oct. 15, 2018

In this evening of film and conversation, Kuwaiti artist Monira Al-Qadiri appears at MoMA to present a program of moving image works followed by a discussion.


The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts
Arab Women Artist Residency Launch and Open Studio with Farah Al Qasimi


The EFA Studio Program will host a series of Arab women artists in a year-long program as part of the AAEI. Working from a dedicated studio in the acclaimed 90-studio arts building in Manhattan, the artist will be part of a vibrant, cooperative community dedicated to fostering professional development and encouraging open exchange between artists, curators, critics and the public.


‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition in Riyadh museum breathes new life into ancient sites 

Updated 19 April 2019
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‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition in Riyadh museum breathes new life into ancient sites 

  • National Museum in Riyadh hosts digital show that tells the story of Mosul, Palmyra, Aleppo and Leptis Magna

JEDDAH: An exhibition that uses digital technology to revive the region’s ancient sites and civilizations that have been destroyed or are under threat due to conflict and terrorism opened at the National Museum in Riyadh on April 18.

“Age-Old Cities” tells the story of four historically significant cities that have been devastated by violence: Mosul in Iraq, Palmyra and Aleppo in Syria, and Leptis Magna in Libya. 

Using stunning giant-screen projections, virtual reality, archival documents and images, and video testimonials from inhabitants of the affected sites, the immersive exhibition transports visitors back in time and presents the cities as they were in their prime. 

It charts their journey from the origins of their ancient civilizations to their modern-day state, and presents plans for their restoration and repair. 

The exhibition has been organized by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Riyadh is the first stop outside the French capital on the exhibition’s global tour. 

The exhibition follows last month’s unveiling of the Kingdom’s new cultural vision, which included the announcement of several initiatives, including a new residency scheme for international artists to practice in the Kingdom and the establishment of the Red Sea International Film Festival. 

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture, said: “I am delighted to welcome the ‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition to Riyadh. 

“It highlights the importance of heritage preservation, particularly here in the Middle East, and the vulnerability of some of our historic sites. 

“It must be the responsibility of governments to put an end to this damage and neglect, and to put heritage at the heart of action, investment, and policy.

“I will be encouraging my fellow members of government to attend this eye-opening exhibition in our National Museum, and hope to work in the future with partners, governments and experts to do what we can to secure our region’s heritage.”

The exhibition carries a significant message about the importance of preserving and protecting these precious but fragile sites — one which resonates strongly in the week when one of the world’s most-famous heritage sites, Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral, went up in flames.