The Jeddah Art Week, organized for the first time in 2013 (see announcement here and a tentative report by one of its protagonists here) is returning this year in a new identity, organized by the Saudi Art Council. Its name – 21,39 – apparently refers to the city’s latitude.
In 2013 the art week was set up as a private initiative, with the support of the Kingdom’s most important contemporary art gallery Athr, the then newcomer on Jeddah’s scene Ayyam Gallery, Sotheby’s and the omnipresent Abdullatif Jameel Community Initiative, which supports many art activities throughout Saudi and even in Dubai (the Archive).
This year a previously unheard of Saudi Art Council has been tasked with organizing the event, under the patronage of HRH Princess Jawaher, president of the veteran Jeddah-based Al Mansouria Foundation. Reassuringly, the council members are the leading lights of the country’s dynamic contemporary art scene, with a clear leaning towards the West Coast.
Details of the program are so far unknown; but given how hard it can be to get a visitor’s visa to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is wise to start planning the trip now.