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Kuwait City’s stunning contemporary art galleries
February 23, 2017, 10:22 am
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A large number of contemporary art galleries focusing on promoting local Kuwaiti artists have cropped up around Kuwait, and with a large number of successful local artists, Kuwait’s contemporary art scene is very prominent. The city is often thronged by art enthusiasts who eagerly visit galleries for the most creative and inspiring exhibitions from premier artists. Here are some of the best contemporary art galleries and museums in Kuwait City.

AL M Gallery:

Displaying the works of established Kuwaiti, Middle Eastern and international artists, exhibitions at the AL M Gallery have included works by Iraqi painter Ghassan Muhsin, local Kuwaiti painter Jassem Bu Hamad and lover of vibrant colours Afaf Al Essa. The Al M Gallery is located in the affluent Salhia Complex, right in the centre of the city. With a focus on the fine arts, the majority of the gallery’s exhibitions concentrate on painting as the primary medium with contemporary culture as the main subject area.

Location: Salhia Complex, Gate 4, Mezanine 2, Place 16. Call 229 96447

Contemporary Art Platform:

As Kuwait’s arts scene expands, different venues pop up to accommodate various artistic themes. Contemporary Art Platform, affectionately known as CAP within the community, has proven itself a valuable hub for hosting various gallery openings, exhibitions, lectures and film screenings, all tying into the contemporary arts. Keep a close eye on this initiative as they constantly have events for you to enjoy.

Location: 2nd Floor, Life Center, Industrial Shuwaikh Block 2, Street 28, Kuwait City. Call 249 25636

Dar Al Funoon Gallery:

Since its inception in 1994, Dar Al Funoon has established itself as supporter of Middle Eastern art which remains dynamic, fascinating and sought after in the art world. The gallery's aim is to promote the work of contemporary artists from the region and inspire the art enthusiasts and art lovers to gain awareness of this emerging art.

Location: Behbenani Compound, House 28, Al Watiah, Kuwait City. Call 2244 33138

Boushahri Gallery:  

The brainchild of Jawad Boushahri, the Chairman of Boushahri Group as well as one of Kuwait’s renowned sculptors and supporters of arts, the celebrated Boushahri Gallery was established in Kuwait in 1982. As one of the oldest private art galleries in the Middle Eastern region, Boushahri Gallery has opened multiple avenues for rising local and internationally acclaimed artists alike, all who have enjoyed the continued success the Gallery has provided them with. Art lovers constantly flock to the gallery’s doors where artistic brilliance is put on display including exquisite paintings, sculptures, ceramic arts, photographs and many more artistic works. With an aim to enrich fellow artists in Kuwait, Boushahri broadened his gallery services to include educational courses, informative seminars and insightful lectures. Today, the gallery holds a variety of activities to increase artists’ drive and spirit to practice, perfect and pursue their artistic aspirations such as holding creative competitions for budding talents.

Location: Building 36, Bagdad Street, Salmiya. Call 2562 1119

Sultan Gallery:

For over forty years, the Sultan Gallery has played an important role in introducing Arab artists to broader audiences, and helped establish a vital dialogue among artists and institutions working internationally. The Sultan Gallery was initially founded in 1969 by the late siblings, Ghazi and Najat Sultan. Up until 1990 it operated thoroughly as a convergence point for not only artists and intellectuals exploring polemic issues on Arab society, but also the general public.  Upon reopening its doors to the public in 2006, Director of the space, Farida Sultan, has continued working avidly with a wide range of artists to advance a critical art discourse emerging in the country. Sultan Gallery, now situated in Sabhan under the umbrella of Sadeer General Trading & Contracting Company, along the skirts of many government subsidized factories, is within a renovated warehouse that encompasses 320 square-meters of exhibition space. Its straight-forward layout allows it to be used in multiple ways through complex installations that transform the space altogether, or in its most natural format, depending on the artist. Although it pays special attention to contemporary photography, it is not limited to this one medium. The Gallery takes pride in supporting up-and-coming artists, and is highly receptive to experimental practices dealing with sound, video, performance, publications, as well as networks and the media.

Location: South Subhan, Block 8, Street 105, Building 168. Call 247 14325

FA Gallery:

This gallery aims to create a fashion identity for Kuwait in its blending together of art and fashion. Alongside paintings, sculptures and photographs, the FA Gallery exhibits exclusive fashion collections for both men and women including pieces by Pepa Pombo, Bendita Seas and Maria Garcia. The designers exhibited are from all around the globe, but the gallery focuses mainly on Colombian and Brazilian artists. Set inside a historical house, FA claims itself to be a ‘cultural centre’ with a unique atmosphere.

Location: Sharq, Block 2, Gulf Road, Villa 76, Kuwait City, Kuwait. Call 2249 8999

House of Mirrors:

Also known as the Khalifa and Lidia Qattan Art Museum, the House of Mirrors or Mirror House is the residence of Artists Khalifa Qattan and his wife Lidia Qattan. Lidia al-Qattan created her mosaic home from 77 tons of mirrored glass, not missing an inch of the exterior or interior. Each room has its own theme, complete with light shows and music, ranging from the universe, to the cosmos, to sharks, each one even more dazzling than the last. The two-hour tour begins with homemade ginger or cinnamon tea, apple cake and a chat with Lidia about Kuwait’s history and how and why she created this masterpiece. There is also a gallery of her late husband’s work and a gift-shop where visitors can purchase their own mini mirrored-mosaic masterpiece.

Location: House 17, Block 9, Street 94, Qadisiya. Call 2251 8522

Tareq Rajab Museum:

Opened by Tareq Sayed and his wife, the Tareq Rajab Museum is home to a collection of over 30,000 artistic items, 10,000 of which are constantly on display. Sayed was the first Kuwaiti to ever be sent abroad to study art and, after marriage, he and his wife travelled the Islamic world collecting enough items to open up their own museum back in Kuwait. Despite a strong focus on calligraphy and old scripts, the museum also hosts an abundance of ceramics, costumes, glass, jewellery and metalworks from across the Islamic world on display. Sayed has opened a further museum close by, the Dar El Cid Exhibition Halls, enabling him to display even more of his magnificent art collection.

Location: Jabria, Area 12, Street 5. Call 2531 7358

Ghadir Gallery:

Presenting the many works of acclaimed Kuwaiti artist Thuraya al Baqsami, the Ghadir Gallery gives visitors the unique opportunity to meet and chat to the artist whilst admiring their pieces of art. As one of the country’s most accomplished artists, Thuraya al Baqsami has been featured in over 100 exhibitions around the globe with her vibrantly coloured paintings becoming increasingly more popular. Information about this gallery’s exhibition schedule can be hard to come by, but for fans of Thuraya, it is definitely worth calling the gallery to see what’s on when you are in Kuwait.

Location: Mishref, Block 6, Street 5, Villa 40. Call 243 5101

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