This past October, Middle Eastern artists embarked on a creative journey across the southwest USA, including Texas and New Mexico. While being inspired and creating artwork they had the opportunity to learn about the similarities between the US and Mexico border and Middle Eastern borders. This was The Crossway Foundation and Art Jameel’s latest project together: Journey to the USA 2016. Past collaborations, giving young artists from the Middle East region the opportunity to work and travel across international borders, have included Turkey, Japan, Spain, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Imogen Ware, the Crossway Foundation’s Managing Director said “Artists thrive when introduced to new places and experiences. There’s nothing quite like the power of crossing borders – real and imagined – to help identify the commonalities and differences across cultures and stimulate their thinking and creativity.
Over 100 Crossway Foundation Alumni applied; the ten participants selected were: Ahaad Alamoudi, 24, Saudi Arabia; Najd Altaher, 23, Kuwait; Mohammed Al Kindi, 24, Oman; Nasser Alzayani, 25, Bahrain; Majid Angawi, 23, Saudi Arabia; Rawan Alhusaini, 26, Bahrain; Basmah Felemban, 22, Saudi Arabia; Tyma Hezam, 21, Saudi Arabia; Tulip Hazbar, Syria, 26; Marouan Omara, 29, Egypt; and Alizeb Raees, 27, Pakistan. “Artists who were part of our previous journeys have gone on to not only exhibit their work and contribute to important publications, but launch their own businesses and initiatives. I’m excited to see how this trip will unlock the potential of this year’s participants” said Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel
The itinerary included a visit to Marfa, the desert arts mecca in far West Texas that became famous when minimalist artist Donald Judd moved there in the 1970s; an intensive two-day workshop focusing on border issues with local students at the University of Texas at El Paso; experiencing life on a working ranch in Magdalena, New Mexico; and an immersive stay at Walter de Maria’s iconic land art work, The Lightning Field, in Catron County, New Mexico.