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.
Working to promote local artists and plant Kuwait firmly on the map as an art-seeker’s paradise, the Gallery Tilal is a 450-square-metre exhibition space. The gallery focuses primarily on photography and paintings but occasionally hosts more unusual exhibitions such as a collection of Ayda Mirza’s fine silk carpets. Set on providing a starter platform to emerging artistic talents, Gallery Tilal focuses primarily on born-and-bred Kuwaiti artists. Past displays have featured works by painter Mohamad Al Amen and photographer Ammar Al Fouzan.
Kuwait’s only non-profit modern art centre, the Contemporary Art Platform is more than just an exhibition gallery. With a public arts library, a rotating schedule of film screenings, studio space for hire, a series of lectures and workshops led by both local and international artists, a trip to CAP could easily become a full day out. The large space is divided into three separate galleries: the main exhibition space, the art room and the design room, each of which hosts various events at the same time. Some of the artists celebrated here recently include photographer Raeda Saadeh, architect Aseel Alyaqoub and sculptor Martin C Herbst. The centre also has a quiet seating area where guests can peruse the beautiful art books available.
Home to Kuwait’s annual Affordable Art Show, the Dar Al Funoon Gallery works not only to promote emerging artists from the region but also to encourage and inspire the public to take an interest in the world of contemporary art. Since its inauguration in 1994, the gallery has been a firm supporter of Middle Eastern art, believing it to be one of the most dynamic and fascinating trends developing today. As well as displaying paintings by artists such as Reza Derakshani and Hussein Balbaaki, the Dar Al Funoon Gallery also hosts art and fashion fusion events such as exhibitions created by Abdullah Al Saab.
The FA 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.
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, once married, 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.
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 her 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 phoning the gallery to see what’s on when you’re in Kuwait.