The annual Hayy Jameel Facade Commission activates Hayy Jameel’s front-facing facade as the main gateway connecting the public to the vibrant community within Jeddah’s home for the arts. The Commission is a major opportunity for Saudi and Saudi-based artists to propose, and then create, a monumental public artwork, which is then exhibited for around 9 months, from January to October/November 2023.

The annual Facade Commission is in keeping with Art Jameel’s long-term commitment to providing upcoming and established artists with opportunities to expand their practices; collaborate and work with established institutions, curators and producers; develop challenging new ideas; and create compelling works for the public realm that engage audiences in dynamic ways

This is the second edition of the Hayy Jameel Facade Commission, and the first to include an Open Call process; proposals are considered by an eminent jury*, and a single work selected for production. The first Commission was awarded – via a nomination, proposal and jury process – by Nasser Almulhim, working with Tamara Kalo. The (initially) three-year Commission programme is kindly supported by Abdul Latif Jameel Motors – Lexus KSA.

Art Jameel invites upcoming and established artists from or resident in the Kingdom to submit proposals that re-imagine Hayy Jameel’s facade as the first point in a conversation between the complex, the community it serves, and the broader public. Located on the front of the Hayy Jameel building, the Facade Commission has a prominent presence, visible to visitors as they enter as well as capturing the attention of pedestrians and drivers passing by.

Deadline for submission: September 15, 2022 (midnight, Saudi Arabia)

The jury includes local and international art professionals, curators, artists and museum directors with experience in commissioning and working with artists to produce works for the public realm.


The jury:

Ahmed Mater

Dr. Ahmed Mater is a Saudi artist.

Physician turned artist, Ahmed Mater is one of the most significant cultural voices documenting with criticality the realities of contemporary Saudi Arabia. Forging an ongoing, complex mapping of the Kingdom, his practice explores collective memories to uncover and record unofficial histories. The breadth of his research-led inquiry manifests in his powerful body of work.

Ahmed’s work has been included in group exhibitions, including major exhibitions at the British Museum, London (2006 and 2012); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2011); Institut du Monde Arab, Paris (2012); Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2013); Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar (2013). He participated in the Sharjah Biennial (2007 and 2013); Cairo Biennial (2008); Venice Biennale (2009 and 2011); and Kochi Muziris Biennale, India (2012). Mater’s work is part of major international collections including the British Museum, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; and Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Aric Chen 

General and Artistic Director of Het Nieuwe Instituut

Aric Chen is General and Artistic Director of Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Netherlands’ national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture, in Rotterdam. American-born, Chen previously served as Professor and founding Director of the Curatorial Lab at the College of Design & Innovation at Tongji University in Shanghai; Curatorial Director of the Design Miami fairs in Miami Beach and Basel; Creative Director of Beijing Design Week; and Lead Curator for Design and Architecture at M+, Hong Kong, where he oversaw the formation of that new museum’s design and architecture collection and program.

Elina Kountouri

NEON Director

Elina Kountouri is the Director of NEON, the Organisation for Culture and Development founded by contemporary art collector and entrepreneur Dimitris Daskalopoulos, and responsible for the strategic development, artistic program and management of all initiatives related to public space, exhibitions, education, grants and outreach. Alongside work in strategy, public policy, and the development of international large-scale projects for multinational companies and NGOs, Elina has curated numerous ground-breaking exhibitions in the public space, creating a public-private model of collaboration activating heritage sites in Greece. Exhibitions include ‘Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theater of Disappearance’, at the National Observatory of Athens (2017); ‘Antony Gormley, SIGHT’ on the archaeological island of Delos and museum (2019); and ‘The Palace at 4 a.m.’ at the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos (co-curated with Iwona Blazwick, 2019). In 2020 she initiated and oversaw the renovation of the former Public Tobacco Factory in Athens and created a partnership with the Hellenic Parliament to present a major group exhibition ‘Portals’ (co-curated with Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2021).

Rahul Gudipudi

Exhibitions Curator at Art Jameel

Rahul is Exhibitions Curator at Art Jameel, working on exhibitions and programmes at Jameel Arts Centre and Hayy Jameel, Jeddah. Present interests include socio-technics, learning and translocal transdisciplinary community practices. He is currently a member of the curatorial advisory and editorial board for the New Alphabet School programme at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and curatorial advisor at The Story of Foundation, a transdisciplinary learning platform in Goa, India.


The commission is open to all Saudi and Saudi-based artists and collectives. The awarded artist(s) will be notified by late September/early October and be required to attend a number of site visits in Jeddah between October and December 2022 in preparation for the reveal of the commission in January 2023

Further information for applicants:

  • Art Jameel encourages applicants to consider the site-specific nature of the Facade Commission, both at Hayy Jameel and within Jeddah at-large;
  • Proposals in all media are welcome, including but not limited to text, image, photography, sculpture, mural, digital work, among many other possibilities;
  • The jury is particularly interested in novel, bold and original proposals that are sensitive and thoughtful to site and context;
  • Applicants are advised to consider the technical requirements of a public work of this nature and of the facade itself (detailed below);
  • Art Jameel is working towards achieving more sustainable exhibition and commissioning practices; we appreciate any considerations taken by applicants towards managing the carbon footprint of their work and its installation.

The awarded artist(s) will receive an artist’s fee and a production budget will be attached to the project (co- or wholly managed by Art Jameel, according to the nature of the selected project and artist’s practice/working method). 

Tip: Please include as much information and detail as you can, but do bear in mind that Art Jameel curatorial and production teams will work with you to develop and adapt your concept for the context, and to build and refine a detailed production budget and timeline.

Useful information and considerations:

Dimensions of first floor facade panel: 26m long by 4.6m height

Material: any material that can be supported by a frame can be considered (details of the support structure are attached). Please bear in mind that we expect the work to remain outdoors, in the elements, for at least 9 months. 

Elevational detail plan: Facade Structural Details

Application requirements:

  • Concept statement (200-500 words)
  • Up to four sketches and diagrams
  • Artist’s portfolio and/or CV
  • Estimated production schedule

All application materials are submitted through the following portal here.