Established in 2006 to provide a broader, more public access to the arts, Arabian Wings is an initiative of the husband & wife artist team Mohammed Bahrawi and Nejla Felemban, both originally from Mecca. In its early years it sought to mobilize the wider Arab art audience, notably through large-scale exhibitions in Cairo (2007) and Dubai (2008) where the emphasis lay on artist participation, rather than on presenting an overview of regional art production. Over the past years the focus of Arabian Wings has shifted to the development of the Saudi art scene.
Its space just behind Jeddah’s international airport has a strongly experimental character. It includes an art cafe, a multimedia resource center, a garden, spaces for workshops, viewings and other forms of art education, and a large exhibition space. Arabian Wings is now funded by Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, which funds many of its activities, such as the yearly sculpture competition, a yearly contemporary art award and the Jameel Photography Award. For more information see its website.
Arabian Wings also offers a residency to all kinds of artists, which is the only Saudi Arabian residency on Res Artis. More information about the residency and how to apply can be found here on its website. Arabian Wings appears to have partnered with the Red Gate residency program in Beijing, China, and the International School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture in Umbria, Italy.
Arabian Wings is one of the most active art organizations in the Kingdom and definitely worth a call for visitors.