Last Thursday marked the opening of Cocoon Art Centre in the Immobilia building, one of the most famous buildings in downtown Cairo, which was the residence of many Egyptian artists including Naguib El-Rehani, Mohamed Abdel-Wahab, and Laila Murad, to name but a few.
Cocoon Art Centre hosts an art realm for young artists to flourish. The opening night featured a group art exhibition by top artists including Mohamed Abla, Hany Rashed, Evelelyn Ashamallah, Randa Shaath, Rasha Soliman, Hamdy Reda, Omar El-Fayoumi, Mariam Shaath, Malak Ezz El Din, Hussein Marei, and Alia Habib, set against music by DJs Mo Guindy and Hussein Marei.
The three women behind the idea are life coach Nihal Seliman, the art centre’s curator, Mariam Shaath, who is Nihal Seliman’s daughter and a fresh graduate of arts and philosophy, and Maysoon Mahfoudh, who worked for years with the Swiss Cultural Foundation.
“This is my dad’s office and he passed away in 2011, and for years I wanted to do something with the space. Then this came along, Mariam and Maysoon met, and it all came together,” explained Seliman.
“We started working on the idea of the art centre five month ago,” said Mahfoudh. “It shall include an art gallery and a space for workshops. Our themes are visual arts, creative writing and spiritual course. And children will have their share of activities during the summer vacation.”