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The fifth edition of the Ithra Art Prize is open for submissions

22 February 2023

This is an advertising feature in association with Ithra.

The Ithra Art Prize, the largest art grant in the Middle East, was established by the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in 2017 to support artists from and based in the Arab world to develop their practice. Open to established contemporary artists and art collectives from the 22 Arab countries (Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen), the prize awards the winner $100,000 to bring their proposal to life. International artists who have lived in these countries for at least 10 years are also eligible to apply.

‘The Ithra Art Prize reaffirms Ithra’s commitment to developing the creative industries in the Kingdom, the region and the wider world,’ says Farah Abushullaih, Head of Museum at Ithra. ‘As one of the largest art grants internationally, we support artists from and based in the Arab world to develop important and meaningful work. The Ithra Art Prize aims to inspire creative thought, broaden cultural horizons and enable talent while empowering the art ecosystem.’

Mem by Ayman Zedani, the winner of the inaugural Ithra art prize in 2018. Photo: courtesy Ithra

The United Arab Emirates-based artist Ayman Zendai was the prize’s inaugural winner with his installation Mem, while Daniah Al Saleh won the second edition for Sawntam – an audio-visual work based on the phonemes of the Arabic language. Saudi-based architect and urban designer Fahad bin Naif was the recipient of the prize in 2020 for Rakhm, a polytunnel nursery that mimics the existing urban nurseries in Saudi Arabia and the Berlin-based, Tunisian-Ukrainian artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke won last year’s iteration, for her monumental work E Pluribus Unum – A Modern Fossil, which looks at how the pandemic impacted commercial air travel and questions how humanity measures progress. Consisting of 19 canvases, Kaabi-Linke’s installation depicts the cracks in a sign bearing an arrow – a symbol associated with the aviation industry and economic growth. The completed work was exhibited in December 2021 at the Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s inaugural contemporary art biennale.

Entries for this year’s edition close on 1 April 2023 and the winner will be announced on 15 May 2023, with the artwork unveiled as part of Ithra’s 5th anniversary celebrations in June.


For more information on Ithra and how to apply, visit ithra.com.

This is an advertising feature in association with Ithra.