Perhaps the best known art gallery in Bahrain, Albareh Art Gallery opened its doors in 1998 and has continued to grow its reputation ever since. Albareh Art Gallery is constantly on the lookout for undiscovered talents ready to break out into the international world of contemporary art. Exhibitions include paintings, photographs, and sculptures, and the gallery regularly participates in international art fairs to further increase its following. Recent artists to display their work here include Lebanese fine arts painter Annie Kurkdjian, Syrian sculptor Safaa Alset and Bahrainian illustrator and painter Faika AlHassan.
For a chance to see how artisans perfect their crafts, visitors can head to Al-Jasra Handicraft Centre. Local women attend the centre daily to work on anything from brightly-colored woven mats, baskets and pottery to expertly crafted musical instruments and boats. Visitors are encouraged to watch how all of these indigenous items are made and staff are more than happy to provide full explanations and answer questions. Craftworks can be bought directly from their maker or from the onsite gift shop. Al-Jasra Handicraft Centre is also one of the few places in Manama easily accessible by public transport with bus number 12 stopping just outside.
With a mission to promote the local art scene and its talents, Al Riwaq Art Space has a year-long calendar of art exhibitions for the public to enjoy. Previous exhibitions have included Tarafa Bin Al Warda, which saw the launch of poet Qassim Hadded’s new book, photographs by Tufool Hadded, and accompanying musical creations by Mohammed Haddad. The gallery also participates in the increasing number of annual art fairs that take place in the country. Al Riwaq Art Space believes in bringing art to the local community and therefore hosts a series of workshops, educational programs and events.
Al Riwaq Art Space, 3 Osama Bin Zaid Avenue, Adliya, Bahrain, +973 1771 7441
Converted from an antique Bahraini house into a decadent chateau complete with an art center and spa, La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art is an unmissable stop on any art-admirers Bahraini tour. A collection of individual rooms set off of the central courtyard display the works of art. High ceilings and plenty of wall space are perfect for displaying the rotating exhibitions, from traditional works to innovative contemporary delights. Like nowhere else in the Middle East, La Fontaine Centre for Contemporary Art is also home to a yoga and pilates studio, a fine-dining restaurant, an open-air amphitheater, and a spa, making an intended quick visit to the art gallery easily transform into a day-long affair.
The Bahraini Ministry of Culture declared 2014 “Our Year of Art,” and celebrated every second weekend of each month with an Art Attack market in the streets of Bab Al Bahrain. The market is a chance for local artists to showcase their works, promote themselves as talented artists and encourage the local community to take an interest in art themselves. Public exhibitions feature paintings, photographs and sculptures which passers-by can enjoy from afar or choose to buy. The market is accompanied by live music and entertainment, while a great selection of local street food offers a tasty alternative to the featured art and culture activities.