Modern art patronage pays dividends in Saudi Arabia

March 27, 2013 - By Manchester Wired

Athr Gallery founder Hamza Serafi opened an assured and confident exhibition of works devoted to the power of the written word, Pen to Paper.

One of the pioneers of the Jeddah gallery scene, Mr Serafi maintains his position as pre-eminent arts impresario in the rapidly developing market.

"Art is a globalised industry," he says. "By having Sotheby's here we are raising the price that Saudi art can command. So we are effectively allowing artists to devote themselves full time to their work."

Mr Serafi went on to say that while the art week was a turning point it was also the culmination of years of hard work and Saudi sponsorship.

Modern art patronage pays dividends in Saudi Arabia

March 27, 2013 - By Sylvia Smith for BBC News

One of the pioneers of the Jeddah gallery scene, Mr Serafi maintains his position as pre-eminent arts impresario in the rapidly developing market. "Art is a globalised industry," he says. "By having Sotheby's here we are raising the price that Saudi art can command. So we are effectively allowing artists to devote themselves full time to their work." Mr Serafi went on to say that while the art week was a turning point it was also the culmination of years of hard work and Saudi sponsorship.

The Sights and sounds of Saudi Arabia’s groundbreaking Jeddah Art Week

March 10, 2013 - By Mario El Khoury for Reorient Magazine

Also featured during the second day of the Art Week was the opening of Pen to Paper, a group exhibition co-organised by Athr Gallery and the Al Madad Foundation’s Aya Haidar. The exhibition highlighted notions of knowledge, truth, and the dissemination of information (and misinformation), and featured works by renowned artists such as Tammam Azzam, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Saddek Wasil, and Jowhara AlSaud. Speaking about education and the arts in Saudi Arabia, Haidar noted the reality of the arts as being officially excluded from the Saudi curriculum.

Pen to Paper exhibition and Ayyam Gallery’s grand opening attractions of Jeddah Art Week

March 3, 2013 - Roberta Fedele - Saudi Gazette

Athr Gallery’s “Pen to Paper” group exhibition displayed the artworks of 17 Middle Eastern artists, exploring the value of knowledge and the art of using words and text within the artistic language.

Art exhibition seeks to encourage dialogue

February 25, 2013 - By Afra Naushad for Arab News

Pen to Paper hopes to achieve clarity around the notions of true knowledge as a valuable and recyclable tool that can serve as a means to not only empower but also liberate through true learning. The exhibition opens tomorrow evening from 7.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. at Athr Gallery and will run for a month.

Pen to Paper - A group exhibition based around knowledge

February 24, 2013 - By Saudi Gazeete

If knowledge is power, then the production of knowledge is a command just as influential. It is this notion, the production of knowledge and understanding, which is to be deconstructed and explored. This group exhibition is specifically curated to create a dialogue between artists and audience in a bid to question the diffusion of information, notions of knowledge and truth as well as the power of misinformation.

Al Madad Foundation and Athr Gallery are pleased to announce Pen to Paper, a group exhibition based on notions around knowledge.


Athr Gallery, in collaboration with Al Madad Foundation, is pleased to announce Pen to Paper, a group exhibition of works from private collections across the Middle East in support of literacy programs for disadvantaged children.

An auction conducted by Sotheby’s will accompany the opening of the exhibition, the proceeds of which will fund Al Madad Foundation's affiliated education initiative Iqra’ for disadvantaged Lebanese children, as well as Palestinian and Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.

Pen to Paper will serve as an arena to display the invaluable pieces accumulated across the region and give the main contributors and supporters of the contemporary art world a platform to share their understanding and reasoning behind their choices, in a bid to plant the seed of inspiration amongst future generations. This group exhibition is specifically curated to create a dialogue between artists, collectors, and audience and aims to question the diffusion of information, notions of knowledge and truth as well as the power of misinformation.