If you’re a contemporary artist in Saudi, here’s how to win $100,000

Ithra opens registration for its 2021 Art Prize…

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) has announced that the fourth edition of the Ithra Art Prize is open for submissions.

Participation is open to all Saudi and Saudi Arabia-based contemporary artists, as well as artists from or based in one of the 21 Arab countries for a minimum of 10 years (Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE, and Yemen).


The winning artwork will be unveiled at the inaugural Ad-Diriyah Biennale in Riyadh, the Kingdom’s first biennale, on Tuesday, December 7.

The winner will also receive a grant of up to $100,000 to create a unique world-class work of art that will subsequently join Ithra’s permanent art collection.

The deadline for submitting proposals to the 2021 Ithra Art Prize is Monday, August 16. A jury of local and international leaders in the art world will evaluate the proposals and announce the winner on August 30.

The biennale is a creative platform that allows international audiences access to diverse Saudi art and culture. This year’s event will be held between December 7, 2021, and March 7, 2022, under the curatorship of writer and critic Philip Tinari.

The Ithra Art Prize aims to develop the art industry in the Kingdom through interaction between different cultures.

Last year’s winner was Saudi-based architect and urban designer Fahad Bin Naif, whose installation Rakhm – which means ‘incubation’ in Arabic – mimics the existing urban nurseries in the Kingdom with endemic plants and flowers instead of conventional foreign houseplants.

Unlike most nurseries, however, the viewer can only experience the exterior of the nursery, which mirrors the general local approach to xeriscaping where local foliage is not an environmental or aesthetic priority. The viewer’s experience from the outside also highlights the notion that contextually, there is very little interaction between local human inhabitants and local plant life and the importance on an environmental level of changing this narrative.

For more information on the Ithra Art Prize and how to apply, visit ithra.com.

Images: Provided