Open Call for Emerging Eastern Province Artists

Mission Statement

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) exists to enhance and develop culture and creativity in the Kingdom through educating and empowering a new generation of creative minds. Ithra is at the forefront of a development in culture occurring in the Eastern Province, and part of its mission is to empower the local community and give a platform for learning and creativity. We want to showcase the talent of Eastern Province artists and contribute to the artistic and cultural mapping of the region.

Open Call

For this reason, we announce the open-call for emerging Eastern Province artists in the exhibition program for February 2019 in the Funoon Contemporary Art Gallery.

We look to work with up and coming Eastern Province artists to develop their portfolios, with the purpose of exhibiting their work alongside established contemporary artists and potential acquisition of artworks for the collection.

Successful artists will have their work exhibited in the Funoon Gallery part of the museum, which holds exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, with an emphasis on celebrating Middle Eastern artists.

This is an exciting opportunity for developing artists to explore their talent and gain national and international exposure, while being part of a new wave of art and culture currently emerging in the Kingdom.


  • Applicants must be aged 18-45.

  • Applicants must be from/in the Eastern Province.

  • Applicants must be Saudi citizens or a resident of Saudi Arabia for over 10 years.

  • Application is open to upcoming artists – established artists are discouraged from applying.

How Do I Apply?

Applicants will be required to submit a digital portfolio to containing:

  • Images or videos of at least 10 different artworks in high quality (jpeg or tiff format for photographs or mp4, avi format for videos )

  • A short artist’s statement. (250 words max.)

  • Cataloguing for each artwork (Title, Year, Material, Size)

  • A short, written description of each artwork submitted.

  • The artist’s name, age, and contact details (email and telephone number).

Artists are also encouraged to include links to social media accounts and/or websites related to their artwork.

Successful applicants will receive an email notification by October 31.

There is no cost for submission.


October 14 at 9pm (local time in Saudi Arabia)

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Application Timeline

The application process will be broken down into 3 stages:

  • Stage 1 – Applicants will submit a digital portfolio of their work by email by 9pm on October 14.
  • Stage 2 – Successful stage 1 applicants will be contacted to meet with the curator to develop portfolios and narrow down the applicant pool.
  • Stage 3 – 1-2 artists will be chosen to exhibit their work in the February 2019 exhibition

Further information regarding exact exhibition dates will be provided to successful applicants in due course.


The board of jurors will consist of members of Ithra museum as well as other invited professionals recognized in the art world.

Jurors will look for:

  • Individuals interested in pursuing careers as professional artists

  • Art supported by a theoretical or conceptual base

  • A high standard of production

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What is Ithra?

Located in Dhahran’s developing creative quarter, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is a state-of-the-art learning environment and all-purpose cultural hub. The Center’s facilities include the Idea Lab, Library, Ithra Theater, Cinema, Museum, Children’s Museum, Energy Exhibit, Archives and Knowledge Tower.

What kinds of artworks can I submit?

Applicants may submit images of paintings, sculptures, or installations, as well as video art. While it is acceptable to submit artworks from one medium, artists are encouraged to showcase their skill in different disciplines of visual art.

What language shall I submit my application in?

Applications may be submitted in English or Arabic

Can I send my artworks to Ithra instead of applying online?

Applications MUST be submitted online. Applicants are requested not to send their physical artworks to Ithra.

I am outside the age boundaries; can I still apply?

Applicants who do not fit all the eligibility criteria will not be considered

Do I qualify as an upcoming artist?

We define an upcoming artist as someone who has been creating art for less than 10 years, and has never exhibited at Ithra.   

Will I receive financial support to produce work?

We do not pay for production of pieces – applicants must fund their own production.

Why artists from Eastern province only?

Ithra’s mission is to support the local community and create a platform for future creatives to exhibit their work. In this edition we are focusing on the Eastern Province but for future editions of this open call we will be opening to other regions of Saudi Arabia.

Find Out More

Further questions can be directed to