JEDDAH: A new artist has been added to the flourishing Saudi scene as the Kingdom’s leading creative organizations continue to support new talent.
Wala Fadul, a graphic designer and artist, topped the list of 11 selected from 158 entrants in the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) Artist Open Call program, which aims to support artists’ practice through development sessions and workshops led by contemporary experts.
Fadul, a master’s graduate in graphic design from the University of Edinburgh’s college of art and currently a lecturer at the Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University, described her participation in the program on her alumni’s website as “the juncture for me to finally become a practicing artist.”
Fadul highlighted that such programs are a chance for emerging artists to work outside their comfort zone and fully develop their talent.
“As an artist, a designer and a creative person who is not used to working alone, I wanted to be open to new opportunities and challenges, especially after months of closure cause by the Covid-19 pandemic, and Ithra was the ideal place to offer me that.”
Fadul’s installations will be featured as part of Ithra’s contemporary exhibition “Seeing and Perceiving,” set to open in March 2021.
Ithra’s second Artist Open Call involved the shortlisted artists in a five-day virtual training program that included last year’s winner, Saudi artist Aziz Jamal, and included an art writing workshop, as well as activities and lectures in contemporary art.
Empowering the Kingdom’s artists is a core mission not only for Ithra but for the entities that focus on providing artists with the framework they need to strive, support and add to the Saudi art scene.
The jury panel comprises recognized names in the art industry, including curators and artists.
The jurors included the director of Art Jameel, Dubai’s contemporary art museum, Antonia Carver, Nada Sheikh-Yasin, director of 21,39 Jeddah Arts, Saudi artist and writer, Abdulrahman Al Soliman, head of museums at Ithra, Laila Al-Faddagh and Candida Pestana, curator of contemporary art at Ithra.