The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts: A beacon of culture in Luweibdeh

(Photos: Handouts from the National Gallery of Fine Arts)
AMMAN — The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts based in leafy Jabal Luweibdeh, was established in 1980 by The Royal Society of Fine Arts, and today exhibits a vast permanent collection of contemporary art by artists from across the developing world. اضافة اعلان

The museum’s collection includes over 3,000 works of art including photographs, drawings, ceramics, graphic art, installation art, sculptures, and textiles from more than 900 artists from 60 countries. Most artists with works at the gallery come from Asia and Africa.

Khalid Al-Khreis, director of the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts. (Photos: Handouts from the National Gallery of Fine Arts)

Khaled Al-Khreis, the gallery’s director, told Jordan News that the gallery works with different institutions in the art field and private galleries, adding that through them artists display their works.

“Through our collaboration with both individual and institutional art collectors, we acquire exhibitions and purchase works by artists to add to the gallery’s collection,” Khreis said.

“We do not interfere in pricing, this is a matter for the artist, but I always advise owners of artworks to set prices that take into account most people’s standard of living, because people cannot pay exorbitant amounts,” he said, adding that an artist’s goal is to display their artwork, so there is no need to exaggerate the pricing.

The gallery director said that there are many programs and activities that are held at the gallery including the “Hiwar” art club and summer workshops, Factory Platform, The Touring Museum, Art and Nature forum, and the International Sculpture symposium.

(Photos: Handouts from the National Gallery of Fine Arts)

“The “Hiwar” art club and summer workshops was established in 2017, and it is held every Saturday and includes lectures, seminars, and several film screenings,” Khreis said. “Hiwar” is an educational art hub that gathers together artists and people from different backgrounds to participate in group discussions on selected readings and screenings,” he added.

The art club invites guest speakers to foster modern artistic and cultural knowledge, and to promote art appreciation among gallery members.
“The national gallery also invites artists and art teachers from outside the country in the summer to hold workshops with several emerging artists in Jordan. At the end of each workshop we hold an exhibition at the gallery,” Khreis said.

The “Factory” platform is a project launched in 2018 to work on opening up the local community in all its aspects and involve them in the creative process. It also aims to place the gallery on the map of international art, he added.

The platform aims to provide opportunities for youth, promote collaborative and participatory processes across all areas of the visual arts, music, theater, literature, modern dance, and the performing arts. This is done through emerging art projects, art residencies, curatorial projects, summer workshops and street/public art.

The Touring Museum project launched in 2009 consists of a truck that was transformed into a mobile art gallery. It aims to introduce the national gallery and its programs, increase cultural awareness and appreciation, and discover young art talents, according to Khreis.

(Photos: Handouts from the National Gallery of Fine Arts)

“We conduct weekly visits to different cities and villages in Jordan, targeting schools, youth cultural and social development centers. Each visit includes a presentation of works from the permanent collection in addition to drawing and painting workshops,” Khreis said, adding that the touring museum has so far visited more than 400 rural communities.

“The national gallery organizes forums entitled Art and Nature. Through them the gallery aims to introduce Jordanian artists to their environment and highlight the natural, historical, and touristic places across Jordan,” the gallery director said.

The forums benefit residents in the areas visited through their participation in workshops organized with the participation of artists. At the end of each forum, an exhibition of artists’ works is held.

(Photos: Handouts from the National Gallery of Fine Arts)

“The international sculpture symposium was launched in 2000 by the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts. It is held once every two years, and was just for Arab sculptors, but in 2006 we expanded participation to the international level,” Khreis saod. In 2018, the project was integrated under the umbrella of the “Factory” platform as a part of the public art “In/Out” project.

He said the gallery aspires to cater to a wide area of fine art and artistic tastes.

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