RIYADH: Art galleries often have a coffee shop, but more and more coffee shops are now providing a creative space and acting as art galleries.
It was in one such café in Riyadh that the work of a group of young Saudi artists caught the attention of staff members from the German embassy, eventually leading to German Ambassador to the Kingdom Dieter Lamlé hosting an exhibition of their work at his residence in the Diplomatic Quarter on Wednesday.
Stella Scherer, first secretary of press and cultural affairs at the German Embassy, told the audience at the exhibition that staff from the embassy’s department of culture had been so impressed by the work they saw in the café that they had asked for information about the artists, and were then introduced to one of the group of artists responsible.
The embassy then launched a project to support these 12 emerging Saudi artists, asking them to create work based on the theme “Tales of Stars.” The team at the embassy then posted the work on its social media pages over the course of several weeks, before exhibiting all the works together at Lamlé’s residence.
Speaking at the event, the German ambassador stressed that one of the main pillars of cooperation between his country and the Kingdom is cultural relations. Saudi artists are participating in artist residency programs in Germany, and have exhibited their work in German galleries, he said.
“This is the first time we have created such a project,” Lamlé said. “I believe the arts are a perfect bridge to bring the spirits of German and Saudi culture closer together. We are very happy to help young emerging Saudi artists to turn their talents into a profession by promoting them on our social media. Supporting young, local, emerging talents is at the heart of our cultural mission in the Kingdom and we are planning more projects in various fields of the arts to achieve this mission.” He added that the embassy plans to stage concerts featuring German and Saudi artists in the near future.
After its opening at the ambassador’s residence the exhibition is now on display at WRD Art Gallery in downtown Olaya until Nov. 11.