Saudi Arabia has launched a venture to become an arts hub. The Riyadh-based Misk Art Institute, sponsored by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aims to be a center of education, culture and society.
Hend Al-Mansour, who has said that women artists are still often overlooked in Saudi Arabia, has named five women to watch who overcome those barriers. Many have been recognized inside and outside Saudi Arabia, particularly in the US.
• Manal Al-Dowayan’s work includes black-and-white photography of subjects such as the oil workers of Saudi Arabia. She also produces sculpture, video, sound, neon and large-scale installations.
• Sarah Abu Abdallah, who studied in the US at the Rhode Island School of Design, has exhibited everywhere from Sharjah to Paris and Louisiana. In her 2010 10-minute video, entitled “Saudi Automobile,” a car wreck is painted baby pink.
• Basmah Felemban is a graphic designer with a strong interest in Islamic art, whose work featured in an exhibition in Memphis.
• Nouf Alhimiary writes about art for Arab News and owns the digital studio Tamawoj.com. Her work has been exhibited with Cities of Conviction, which explored connections between Utah and Saudi Arabia.
• Dana Awartani is a Palestinian-Saudi artist born and raised in Jeddah. Her art featured at Art Dubai, in exhibitions such as “The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen”, in which global artists try to make sense of the concept of the truth.