Why was this competition established?

In line with Ithra’s mission and vision, the Ithra Art Prize was created to enable talent and provide a high-level platform for contemporary artists. Supporting the Center’s efforts to foster cross-cultural engagement and its it as an international leader and supporter of contemporary art, the program was expanded to include artists from or working in the 22 Arab countries. The winner will receive a monetary prize up to 375,000 SAR ($100,000). The proposed artwork should not exceed $100,000 in cost, including production, shipping, insurance, artist’s fee and project management costs. The winning artwork will be displayed at the Ad-Diriyah Biennale in December 2021 and will become part of Ithra’s permanent art collection.

How can I apply?

Please click here to apply. Applications submitted through any other channels will not be considered.

Is there a registration fee?

No, there is no registration fee.

Where will the winning artwork be displayed?

The winning artwork will be displayed at the Ad-Diriyah Biennale and will become part of Ithra’s permanent art collection.

What is the Ad-Diriyah Biennale?

The Ad-Diriyah Biennale – the Kingdom’s first biennale – has been commissioned by the Saudi Ministry of Culture and is organized by the Thunaiyat Ad-Diriyah Foundation. Featuring works by about 70 Saudi and international artists, this inaugural edition will be Saudi Arabia’s largest exhibition of international contemporary art to date. It will be curated by Philip Tinari, the Director of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, China’s leading contemporary art institution.

Who can participate in this competition?

Contemporary artists and art collectives who are from or have been based in any of the 22 Arab countries for more than 10 years.

What are the 22 Arab countries?

The 22 Arab countries include Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE, and Yemen.

If I am not a citizen of any of the 22 Arab countries but have lived for 10 years in one, can I participate?


Can I participate with a work that has been previously exhibited?

No, the proposal must present a new, original work, exclusive to Ithra. Proposals must not be part of an existing series of work (same idea, concept and methodology).

What should my proposal include?

- The proposed artwork concept.

- Supporting sketches and visuals.

- Detailed budget breakdown (the budget of the artwork cannot exceed 375,000 SAR ($100,000) and must include production, shipping, insurance and project management costs.

- Artwork production timeline from the point of conceptualizing and research to the delivery of the art work to the Ad-Diriyah Biennale in Riyadh.

Is there a size and weight limitation for the artwork?

Yes, the artwork must be in line with the size: 4m x 2.5m and weight restrictions of 500kg per square meter. The artwork must be able to fit into crates and be transported to the Ad-Diriyah Biennale and then to Ithra.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

No, applicants are restricted to one proposal only. Applicants who submit multiple proposals will not be considered or only one proposal will be considered.

I want to change the email address with which I have signed in. What can I do?

Once the application is submitted, it cannot be altered.

Can I edit my application once I submit?

No. Once the application is submitted, it cannot be altered.

When is the deadline for applying for the Ithra Art Prize?

The deadline for applying is August 21, 2021, until 11:59 p.m. (GMT +3).

What happens after I have submitted my application?

Applications will be reviewed by a jury of experts from the art world. The jury will select one winner who will be announced in August 2021.

When will the winner be announced?

The winner will be announced in August 2021.

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