JEDDAH: Professional sculptors from around the world will come together at the Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium to produce a series of permanent public sculptures.
After 400 sculptors from 71 different countries answered Riyadh Art’s call for submissions, an international panel has chosen the final 20 participating artists.
The countries represented include Saudi Arabia, Oman, Italy, Germany, the UK, Belgium, Spain, Mexico, Bulgaria, Colombia, New Zealand, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia and Georgia.
The artists will create sculptures using black and white pearl marble, exploring the connections between matter and emptiness, light and shadow, under this year’s theme “The Poetics of Space.”
Khaled Al-Hazzani, Riyadh Art’s director, said: “Participating artists will produce beautiful sculptures that manifest poetry in motion and create their own space while being in harmony with their surroundings.”
This will be done in a live setting that will open up the creative process to the public in JAX District, against the historical backdrop of Diriyah, the birthplace of Saudi Arabia.
The event will also include a program of 12 public talks, guided tours and educational trips for more than 400 students, explaining the process of making an artistic sculpture and giving them access to material, tools, and techniques to enrich their experience and that of the community.
The event starts on Nov. 15, and the completed sculptures will be exhibited in December for four consecutive days before being moved to various outdoor locations across Riyadh.
This initiative is to transform the city into a gallery without walls in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan.
“The aim is to enrich the city by bringing art to neighborhoods, parks and public squares in order to expand the understanding and appreciation of international art, to educate and effect change, as well as to create a platform for intercultural dialogue,” said the program.
This is the second public art program under Riyadh Art, following the success of Noor Riyadh festival of light and art earlier this year, which attracted more than 300,000 visitors.
As a fundamental principle underpinned by its social development program for raising local community awareness, the symposium is providing accessibility to Riyadh’s art world through partnerships with cultural institutions that organize workshops. These include Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Misk Art Institute and the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts.