All You Need To Know About Riyadh's Annual Street Art Festival 'Shift22'

The festival will thoughtfully display a variety of newly commissioned and existing works of art to honour street art
The festival features a variety of commissioned and existing artworks. Credit Shutterstock
The festival features a variety of commissioned and existing artworks. Credit Shutterstock

Riyadh is currently hosting the annual street art festival 'Shift22' from October 13 to 30, the Saudi Visual Arts Commission announced recently. The festival features a variety of commissioned and existing artworks carefully chosen to promote street art, which will appeal to both local and international audiences. It is curated by Creative Philosophy, an artistic agency based in New York.

"Shift22 is part of the Commission's efforts to celebrate and encourage local and international visual artists by providing platforms for creative exchange and dialogue. This festival is an example of the many exciting visual arts opportunities that are a result of the growing local art scene," CEO of the Visual Arts Commission, Dina Amin, said while talking about the festival.

Here's all you need to know about the festival.

Location and Theme
The location of this year's festival, Irqah Hospital, inspired the festival's theme of geometry and geometric patterns. More than 30 local and international artists, including Huda Beydoun, REXCHOUK and Zeinab Al-Mahoozi, Crash, Trevor Andrew, and Refik Anadol, will participate in this year's festival.

Murals will be painted on the walls of the hospital complex as part of Shift22, and trash from the area will be salvaged and used to make works that will be activated by dynamic lighting to give a sense of movement. The site will be transformed into a distinctive night museum with art projections, sound installations, and video works by well-known artists that will turn the abandoned hospital into a centre for innovation.

Why the Name
The phrase "Shift22" refers to the changes in the Kingdom's culture and the perceptions that have evolved over time about street art as it becomes increasingly popular as a genre of art. The word "shift" also means "have you seen" in Arabic, and serves as a call to the community to come see and participate in the event.

What Can You Expect
In addition to offering a venue for experiencing many other aspects of street culture, such as music, street fashion, breakdancing, skateboarding, and street food, the festival will hold lectures, workshops, and other events.

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