We are lucky to have among us some very talented Omani and expat artists. Yet, how many of us know of them or have seen their work? As an artist herself, Lamyaa al Jabri well understood what it meant to lack a platform to display her work. She strongly felt the need to create a place where artists and art lovers could come together to embrace creativity and share experiences.
An opportune meeting with Kethki Ambekar, sparked off a series of ideas that led to the creation of the Arabian Arts Academy. “Our aim is to be able to inspire creativity, nurture talent and support the growth of artists, who have limited opportunities to showcase their work and therefore remain largely unacknowledged and unappreciated,” shared Kethki.
The Arabian Arts Academy, supported by the Omani Society for Fine Arts, aims to encourage collaboration between Omani and expat artists and those based outside Oman. Through their efforts, Lamyaa and her team hope to address the problem of artwork stacking up. “Unfortunately, many artists are not able to find reasonable places to display their work and therefore lack an audience. People too have not realised the value of art as an investment. Those who do want to invest, find that art at most galleries, is prohibitively expensive. This puts people off from buying art and a lack of buyers means that artists are unable to sell their work. How then, can artists continue to create more art when their work just piles up?” Lamyaa asks.
To address this issue, the Arabian Art Academy is well on its way to launching a one-of-its-kind art gallery at the Waterfront at Shatti Al Qurum. “We believe that the Waterfront is the perfect place to set up our gallery because of its picturesque location with stunning views of the ocean. Visitors can spend time admiring the art displayed and enjoy a stroll along the Waterfront’s beautiful walkways and promenades,” says Lamyaa. “We are working towards ensuring that our art gallery will provide artists a fast-track to growth. Artists who sign-on as members of our gallery will get the opportunity to conduct solo exhibitions, participate in events and benefit in a number of ways including getting access to our online art gallery.”
We are partnering with international art galleries so that artists have an opportunity to present their work on a global platform. This opens up immense avenues not only for artists who are always looking for a larger audience but will also be a boon for art lovers who are looking to collect art.” Sharing further details, Lamyaa said, “Our tie-up with an international courier company will enable us to deliver artwork to people across the world. We offer artists support in a variety of ways, and hope that they will be an active part of our network.”
“We are optimistic about being able to create an increased interest in art among people by making it more affordable and accessible,” said Kethki. “The Arabian Arts Academy invites artists to partner with us, and hold workshops at our studios, aimed at encouraging people to learn new skills without having to spend a fortune. We work with artists to create a concept and offer them full flexibility to manage the workshop while providing crucial support on the marketing and administrative front,” she added. Thus far, the Arabian Arts Academy has successfully held a number of workshops on art forms as varied as water-colour painting, puppet making, embroidery, decoupage, shell art, calligraphy and photography.
Encouraged by the response, Lamyaa and Kethki are now broadening their reach. They recently launched Project Shakti, targeted at schools in Muscat. “We organise interesting workshops for children and unique sessions for art teachers looking for added inspiration. For the corporate sector, we have announced a special programme called ‘Work to wellness’ where we try and engage employees in wellness sessions led by experts in Yoga and Zumba.”
The Arabian Arts Academy has received a hugely positive response thus far and is looking forward to working with local artists and supporting community-centred arts and culture projects. The coming months look just as busy as those gone by with a number of interesting events in the pipeline. Those interested to know more can visit the Facebook page of the Arabian Arts Academy or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.