Streets come to life in Saudi Arabia’s first graffiti project

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March 01, 2018

ALKHOBAR: A historic neighborhood has turned its aging streets and houses into a living art exhibition with the help of graffiti artists from around Saudi Arabia.
The “Alfan Sharqy” (“Art is Eastern”) exhibit in Bayoonya opened on Monday and is believed to be the first street graffiti project in the Kingdom.
Saudi artist Madawi Albaz, founder of the Dawi gallery, organized the exhibition under the sponsorship of Princess Abeer bint Faisal Al-Saud.
Albaz said she “had a dream of spreading beautiful art around the Kingdom, starting with Alkhobar, and thank God the dream has come true.”
More than 20 Saudi graffiti artists worked for 10 days to complete the project, painting six houses and transforming an entire neighborhood on Alkhobar’s southern side.
Albaz said: “I wanted to give Saudi artists the opportunity to show their talents, and decorate the neglected houses. This is a different experience, with a big challenge that included a large population and old streets.
“The initiative goes hand in hand with Vision 2030, offering talented youth the chance to spread art and beauty.”
Planning for the project took six months, she said. The exhibition was approved by the Alkhobar municipality.
The exhibition had been welcomed by neighborhood residents. “People are coming from everywhere to see it. Everyone is happy,” she said. “There is a lot of excitement, and other neighborhoods have expressed interest in similar projects.
“This is just the start,” Albaz said. “We plan to go to different cities and neighborhoods with new visions and big ambitions.”

This article was first published in the Arab News

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