TheFace: Maysa bint Ahmed Al-Ruwaished, Saudi artist and founder of Canvash studio

Maysa bint Ahmed Al-Ruwaished. AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj
Updated 07 June 2019

TheFace: Maysa bint Ahmed Al-Ruwaished, Saudi artist and founder of Canvash studio

I am the founder of Canvash, an institution in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia dedicated to the creation and appreciation of art. Painting involves a brush, colors, a canvas and, of course, passion. It reflects the culture of our society, is a reflection of its history and current state, and contributes to building its future. Hence, Canvash was launched to help express the Saudi identity and represent our country.

Canvash studio is named using the Dutch word for the canvas on which we paint, the texture of which makes paintings all the more appealing and beautiful. The studio and its workshops have a number of strategic goals: To help young artists develop and refine their skills and talents through training programs provided by a team of experienced professionals; to help visitors discover their own artistic abilities, build their confidence and channel their energy into the creation of art; to provide a display space for the work of professional artists; to provide a cultural forum for the exchange of ideas and artistic opinions; to create an artistic atmosphere suitable for the creation and enjoyment of art; and to organize and host art exhibitions in cooperation with public and private organizations based on the highest global standards and art protocols. My vision is for Canvash to become one of Saudi Arabia’s arts landmarks.

Since I was a child, I enjoyed visiting art galleries and museums, spending hours contemplating the beauty of the works on display. My decision to create Canvash was inspired by the vital socioeconomic development that is underway in Saudi Arabia, along with my faith in the ability of the art to reflect the progress and development of societies and nations. Through art, we can send our message to the world.

Art is a culture, a passion and a hobby, and I was expressing all three aspects when I established the studio, after I returned from the US and noticed a lack of community art facilities in the Eastern Province. I assembled the best training and organizational team to ensure that Canvash, which opened in 2018 and was the province’s first licensed studio, could provide all that support and assistance needed by artists and enthusiasts. The idea behind Canvash was honored with an award for the best pilot project in the province contributing to change and the support of art.

The staff help artists and workshop participants develop their artistic personas while instilling in them faith in their skills, enabling them to create art and providing an enduring record of their first steps in the world of fine arts. The initiative is characterized by its artistic and fun atmosphere, which greatly contributes to encouraging creativity. The studio has been carefully designed, its activities are well organized, and there is a cafe.

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Dammam. I am passionate and artistic, enjoy creativity and constantly strive to learn about all that is new in the arts. I believe that art is a cultural asset, capturing reality and helping a society to express itself.

My father Dr. Ahmed Abdulrahman Al-Ruwaished is an academic and a researcher at a Saudi university. He has a Ph.D. in architecture from the US in solar energy and construction systems. My mother worked as a teacher in Saudi public schools for over 20 years. My sisters, Nouf, Amal and Nada, hold university degrees in management and economics. My daughter, Haya, is the source of my happiness.

I seek to contribute to the advancement of the artistic and cultural movement in Saudi Arabia, and I hope my country will one day be home to some of the most important and famous art galleries and museums in the world. I also hope to see many works by Saudi artists in the most-renowned galleries around the world. 

All-female Saudi tourist group explores wonders of Tabuk

Updated 21 October 2019

All-female Saudi tourist group explores wonders of Tabuk

  • About 20 women from different parts of the Kingdom took part in the sightseeing trip to the province bordering the Red Sea

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s first all-female tourist group has explored the environmental and archaeological wonders of Tabuk in the northwest of the Kingdom.

About 20 women from different parts of the Kingdom took part in the sightseeing trip to the province bordering the Red Sea.

“They were astonished to see such sights in their country, especially the area of Ras Al-Sheikh Humaid,” said Heba Al-Aidai, a tour guide in Tabuk who organized the trip.

“They did not expect to see such a place in Saudi Arabia. They looked speechless while standing close to the turquoise water of the sea. It is a truly breathtaking view.”

Al-Aidai and her colleague Nafla Al-Anazi promoted the trip on social media and attracted a group of homemakers, teachers and staff workers from all over the Kingdom, aged from 22 to over 50.

The tour was educational, too, and the women were told about the history of the places they visited. “They were taken to the Caves of Shuaib (Magha’er Shuaib), the place where Prophet Moses fled after leaving Egypt, and where he got married to one of the daughters of Prophet Shuaib, according to some historians. It was really a positive experience,” Al-Aidai said.

The visitors also explored Tayeb Ism, a small town in northwestern Tabuk, where there is a well-known gap in the towering mountains through which water runs throughout the year.

Al-Aidai said such trips aim to encourage tourism in Tabuk, and introduce Saudi tourists and other visitors to the landmarks of the region.