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.

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.


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.