Artist Open Call Jury & Winner Announcement

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is delighted to announce Walaa Fadul as the winner of Ithra’s second Artist Open Call. The open call received a large number of outstanding proposals and the jury is also privileged to bestow an honorable mention on Samah Bahjiri for her impeccable submission. The program received 158 outstanding proposals, out of which 11 artists were shortlisted.

Ithra’s second Artist Open Call involved the shortlisted artists in a five-day virtual training program, which included an art writing workshop, as well as activities and lectures in contemporary art. The submissions were notable for their high caliber, but Walaa Fadul was a worthy winner. Fadul’s keen talent and impressive art installation will be featured as part of Ithra’s upcoming contemporary art exhibition, Seeing & Perceiving. The jury gave an honorable mention to Samah Bahjiri due to her portfolio, her bi-dimensional artwork on paper, and her clear and promising potential of a career in art.

Winner (Walaa Fadul)

Honorable Mention (Samah Bahjiri)

With impressive talent and a respected jury panel, Ithra’s upcoming contemporary art exhibition, Seeing & Perceiving, set to open in the beginning of 2021, and will be one not to miss. The jury panel is comprised of recognized names in the art industry, including curators and artists. The jurors include Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel—Dubai’s contemporary art museum. She oversees the arts organization’s work across learning and the arts at the museum. Nada Sheikh-Yasin, Director of 21,39 Jeddah Arts, has over 10 years’ experience in the arts and cultural sector. Abdulrahman Al Soliman is a modern Saudi artist and writer, who was the first elected president of the board of directors of the Saudi Arts Society, serving from 2007-2012. Laila Al-Faddagh, Head of Museums at Ithra, offers her experience in the cultural industry in developing cross-cultural alliances with corporate, non-profit and individual partnerships. Candida Pestana, Curator of Contemporary Art at Ithra, offers more than a decade of experience in museum development and cultural diplomacy.

The jury panel met in late November and compiled their extensive knowledge to review the proposals submitted by the shortlisted artists, as well as their biographies and portfolios. Despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, artists created magnificent art pieces. The jury agrees that the exceptional proposals exceeded expectations and look forward to see more from Fadul and other contestants.