Jameel House of arts opens alumni fair at French Institute of Oriental Archaeology

Reham El-Adawi , Thursday 13 Dec 2018

Jewellery displayed for sale at the exhibition (Photo by Mostafa Abdel-Aty)

The Jameel House of Traditional Arts Cairo, a centre for the study of traditional arts and the preservation of heritage, has launched the fourth annual exhibition of works by alumni of its celebrated educational programme.

The major exhibition opened at the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Al-Mounira on Sunday 9 December with more than 300 artworks handmade by 15 artists and artisans in ceramic, gypsum, woodwork and metalwork.

Art lovers at Jameel House Alumni exhibition (Photo by Mostafa Abdel-Aty)

The opening was attended by Mamdouh Sakr from the Prince Charles School of Traditional Arts, Cairo programme manager George Richards, the head of Heritage at Art Jameel, communication and sponsorship officer at the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology Amr Bahgat, director of Art Jameel Antonia Carver, as well as Egyptian and foreign art lovers.

The exhibition is free and open daily from 12pm to 8pm until 15 December. Artworks are all available for sale, enabling the graduating artists to begin building and supporting their own crafts enterprises.

The participants are all graduates of the highly competitive two-year educational programme at the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo, which opened in 2009 as a collaboration between Art Jameel, the Prince Charles Foundation School of Traditional Arts, and the Cultural Development Fund of Egypt.

“The first three annual alumni exhibitions were a great success with more than 350 pieces of woodwork, ceramics, and jewellery displayed by more than 40 artists. This annual alumni exhibition provides an opportunity for former students of the programme to exhibit artworks completed since graduation, and for art-lovers to support the upcoming artists and acquire the valuable pieces that are for sale. We are expecting this fourth alumni exhibition to continue the upward trend, across the board,” said Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel.

Art Jameel supports the revival of Egyptian crafts and traditional arts and has opened new avenues to alumni of the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo educational programme; graduates have access to opportunities to continue practising their crafts, from the annual alumni exhibition to summer outreach programmes for children, and to expanding opportunities to establish their own businesses.

This year, Art Jameel launched the Atelier Cairo Art Jameel as a platform for Egyptian artisanship and design. Located in Zamalek, Cairo, the Atelier combines a co-working space for upcoming craft designers, a public programme of workshops in the traditional arts, and business training and incubator support for craft entrepreneurs.

Founding participants at the Atelier Cairo Art Jameel include a number of alumni of the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo. Previous editions of the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo annual alumni show have been held at the British Council and at the Maq’ad of Sultan Qaitbey in the City of the Dead.

art lovers
(L-r) Mamdouh Sakr, George Richards and Amr Bahgat welcome art lovers at the exhibition opening (Photo by Mostafa Abdel-Aty)

Launched in 2009 by Art Jameel, the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and the Cultural Development Fund of Egypt is a major educational institute teaching young Egyptians classes in traditional Islamic geometry, drawing, colour harmony and arabesque studies, as well as specialised training in ceramics, glass and gypsum, metalwork and woodwork.

Students are taught a two-year educational programme, developed and delivered by the Prince’s Foundation, according to the same principles and standards as the postgraduate courses of the original London school.

Located in Fustat in the heart of the historic district of Old Cairo, the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo programme focuses on the preservation of local cultural heritage through field trips to major monuments and practical design. It also supports graduates seeking employment or to establish businesses in the traditional arts. Around 20 students graduate each year and join the many alumni who connect through the programme’s alumni association and participate in the annual alumni exhibition.

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