Misk Art Institute’s (MAI) annual event, Misk Art Week, returns for its 7th edition from 5-10th December. A key moment in Saudi Arabia – and the region’s – cultural calendar, the 6-day event features a dynamic program of exhibitions, talks, masterclasses, workshops, performances, a marketplace, and an art book fair. This edition’s thematic dialogue centers around celebrating tradition and heritage. Guided by awareness of the importance of cultural traditions in this modern era, MAI aims to safeguard and promote the regional history and context.
Since its first edition in 2017, Misk Art Week has established itself as a platform to foster all forms of creative output, including visual art, performance, publications, and film. In line with the organization’s mission to strengthen the local and regional creative community, the six-day free event features a Creative Forum, an Art & Design Market, an Art Book Fair, exhibitions, and educational programing providing opportunities for creative professionals to grow their practices and allows local and international visitors to engage with Saudi’s flourishing arts scene. The theme of this year’s edition is “tradition.”
Reem Al Sultan, CEO of Misk Art Institute: “This year’s edition of Misk Art Week looks forward to celebrating art and artists, presenting rich artistic content for everyone. It aims to stimulate and enhance cultural discussions in the region, providing the platform artists need to express themselves amidst the continuing success of the Institute’s programs in contributing to the development of the creative sector in Saudi Arabia and enriching artistic content and production through a range of programs.”
MISK ART GRANT
In conjunction with Misk Art Week, MAI presents the fourth edition of the Misk Art Grant, the most ambitious arts grant in the region with a fund of 1 million Saudi Riyals (USD 266,632) distributed among 5 artists from the Arab world. The Grant offers a unique opportunity for emerging and mid-career Saudi and Arab artists to realise their dream projects through rigorous mentorship programs with renowned curators and specialists. The 2023 participants were asked to reflect upon notions of tradition, of an Arab’s society’s inherited rituals, practices, stories, and ways of thinking, that have changed over time. How can we safeguard our traditions and ancient customs in the contemporary world?
Misk Art Grant recipients: Abdulla Buhijji (b. 1994, Bahrain), Hayfa Algwaiz (b. 1991, Saudi Arabia), Hussain Alismail (b. 1988, Saudi Arabia), Maisa Shaldan (b. 1975, Saudi Arabia), Mohamed Almubarak (b. 1994, Bahrain).
The two-day Creative Forum (Dec. 6 & 7) offers a journey of cultural enrichment, paving the way in bringing together the creative community for meaningful exchange by exploring how heritage grounds us in history while fuelling reinvention.
The Forum is guided by an appreciation of the past’s role in societal progress, participants can delve into thought-provoking discussions around tradition’s influence on contemporary art and culture. Audiences are welcome to join the conversation as it advances awareness of our shared histories and artistic expressions.
The forum will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
ART & DESIGN MARKET
The Misk Art Week Art & Design Market provided free booths to 88 artists, designers, and makers through an open call process. This marketplace is an inclusive, collaborative and dynamic platform designed to engage the creative community, allowing visitors to collect, acquire, source, and commission one-off works.
• Echoing the Land (on view until March 7, 2024)
An exhibition featuring twenty Saudi visual artists showcasing works inspired by their surroundings, highlighting the artistic heritage in Saudi Arabia with fifty-five artworks dating from 1959 to 1989.
• Mirqab ( on view until December 10)
An exhibition showcasing artworks by Khaleeji artists, focusing on the role of rituals and traditions as cornerstones of collective memory and identity.
• Misk Art Grant 2023 recipients’ showcase under the theme “Tracing the Absent.”
• Masaha Residency Showcase (on view until December 10)
An immersive experience that combines visuals, sound, and technology to interact with the artworks of Saudi artists who have translated their cultural impressions within their environments to narrate their personal journeys that reflect the self, the land, and the influences of their culture.
The educational programs within Misk Art Week offer emerging artists, students, and art enthusiasts the opportunity to unleash their creative talents and develop their skills. These include specialized courses in photography, design, illustration, calligraphy, and poster design, offered in collaboration with international educational institutions. Individual mentoring sessions target artists, curators, designers, writers, and entrepreneurs, connecting them with experts to help develop their projects and personal portfolios. Workshops allow participants to learn practical skills in oil painting, acrylics, watercolors, character design, and 3D drawing.
Family Journey and Performance Shows
This year, Misk Art Week introduces a family journey for children aged 5 to 12, allowing them to explore art from a new perspective. The tour includes interactive activities, virtual reality experiences, and guided tours of the art exhibitions. Additionally, the event features various performance and musical shows presented by international groups and artists, adding to the cultural richness of the event.
Press release from Misk Art Institute