Bahrain is set to welcome a wave of international art collectors in the next two weeks as the Kingdom prepares itself to launch its first international art fair, ArtBahrain. Held under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of the King of Bahrain and President of the Supreme Council for Women, the fair will open its doors on the 13th October (VIP Preview starts 12th October) until the 16th October. The event will aim to “showcase the best Bahrain has to offer while also bringing to the country the best from around the world”. To help strengthen the country’s flourishing art scene, organisers believe ArtBahrain will bring great promise to the local art market, as the fair targets art collectors and first time buyers in order to stimulate creativity, opportunity and the local arts industry. Top Bahraini galleries that will take part will include Al Riwaq, Hend Gallery, Busaad Art Gallery, Art Divano and Amina Gallery.
As proud partners of the fair, Larry’s List is most excited to participate in ArtBahrain’s inaugural fair as we tell you 10 great facts about the fair that will make you want to buy your tickets on the spot.
1. Set to be a fair of its own character
The organisers want this event to be a celebration of history and culture rooted in artistic expression. To achieve this, ArtBahrain will focus on creating awareness about the quality of the art available in Bahrain, connecting the international art world with the local art scene and lastly to inspire artists and galleries through exposure to international art professionals. Additionally, it plans to be diverse in form covering classic acrylics to sculpture and digital photography to new age installation. To top it off, the event will take place in a purpose-built grand marquee, which is over 50 metres in diameter.
2. An opportunity to get close with the artists at the ‘Artist Arena’
One of the unique features at the fair will be the ‘Artist Arena’, where established Bahraini and international artists will present their work in booths especially designed by the artists themselves. Visitors and collectors will get the rare chance to meet, greet and chat with the artists to discuss their inspirations and ideas. Among the many local artists showcased at the fair, there will be Jamal Abdul Rahim, Fayeeka Al Hassan, Sheikha Marwa Bint Rashid Al Khalifa, Shaikha Lulwa Bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, Uzma Dadabhai, Fuad Al Binfalah and Mariam Fakhro.
3. Get inspired at ArtBahrain’s Education Programme
Organised by well-known gallerist and art consultant, Janet Rady, the Education Programme will consist of three sessions/talks per day. It will be an opportunity to engage personally with key international and Bahraini speakers and experts regarding art collecting, preservation, sharing and patronage through offered interactive workshops.
4. Collectors will be able to tour great historic monuments
VIP Collectors will get to visit cultural and heritage sites, arranged every day throughout the duration of the fair. These tours will be followed by luxurious dinners at Bahrain’s most exclusive restaurants. Worried about transport? Never fear as ArtBahrain has arranged full transport to each venue. One of the highlights is a tour to Beit Al Qur’an/House of Qur’an which will end with a royal dinner at La Fontaine Restaurant set in a historic monument dating back 150 years.
5. A chance to stay at Four Seasons Hotel
For those who are already about to grab their credit card to pay their tickets, let us give you an address of where to stay. Four Seasons located near Bahrain Bay, is only a short distance away from ArtBahrain’s grand marquee. Visitors will hence have the acquired time to pamper up before walking among the art booths.
6. The Art Lounge: another unique feature
This interactive platform, both social and cultural will be a chance to browse through art books at its book store, and have the exclusive opportunity to watch artists draw, paint or sketch live. It will also feature a spacious seating plan and work space, in a bid to encourage visitors to create their own comfort zone.
7. Art for everyone
For the emerging art buyers who are hesitant in purchasing expensive pieces, ArtBahrain will also present mid-ranged priced art works in order to entice first time art buyers to feel comfortable investing in art.
8. Blossoming gallery and culture scene
Well-established local galleries are still standing their ground on the international art stage. What is more, new and independent galleries are beginning to pop up around the artsy and chic neighbourhood of Adiya, which is gaining strong momentum in the country with its increase in antique shops, bars and restaurants.
9. Sacha Jafri’s 18 Year Retrospective World Tour
Another expected highlight is the Sacha Jafri’s 18 year retrospective world tour. This exhibition is comprised of 48 artworks including four paintings from each of the 12 bodies of work created by the artist between 1996 and 2014. The artist handpicked a selection of 18 works himself from this collection for the ArtBahrain exhibition. It will be the first time these pieces will be shown together.
10. Special book launch
As part of the ArtBahrain project, a book published by Miracle Graphics and written by Renaud Siegmann will be launched especially for the event. The fully illustrated book will serve as a portfolio for 33 of Bahrain’s most prominent artists along with personal interviews with them. It will provide a unique perspective into the Kingdom’s emerging art scene.