The Jameel House in Cairo celebrates the graduation of its 13th class of artists
The Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Cairo, an educational institute preserving and championing Egypt’s oldest crafts, celebrated today the graduation of its 13th cohort of artists at a ceremony at the Fustat Traditional Crafts Centre. The Jameel House in Cairo is a collaboration between Community Jameel, an international organisation advancing science and learning for communities to thrive, The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and the Cultural Development Fund of Egypt.
This year’s cohort consists of 15 graduates, with nine specialising in ceramics, five in woodwork and one in brasswork. In addition, the cohort saw one student, Aya Soliman, work with stone as well as gypsum for the first time. The graduates’ work is available on display in a public exhibition that is free and open to all daily until 21 September from 10am to 3pm at the Jameel House.
The ceremony was attended by a number of distinguished guests including Dr Khaled Azzam, deputy executive director of The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts, Delfina Bottesini, director of outreach at the School, and Cléa Daridan, senior curator and culture lead at Community Jameel, as well as friends and family of the graduates and Jameel House alumni. The ceremony launched with a walk-through of the exhibition displaying the graduates’ projects and included addresses from Dr Mamdouh Sakr, programme manager at the Jameel House in Cairo, and Dr Waleed Kanoush, head of the Cultural Development Fund.
Dr Mamdouh Sakr, programme manager at the Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Cairo, said: “We are very excited to announce that for the first time, one of our students, Aya Soliman, worked with stone in parallel to her work in gypsum. Aya had previous experience in sculpting and was keen to use stone in representing the traditional language that she learnt throughout the two years of the programme.”
He added, "'Artifacts from Coptic Cairo' this was the theme of the heritage project of this year. Our second-year students made artistic replicas of artifacts from the Coptic Museum and the Hanging Church in Old Cairo. The art pieces included wooden screens, ceramic tile panels, a brass chandelier, in addition to gypsum and stone decorative panels. The process of analysing the geometric and floral patterns of these artifacts gave the students a clear understanding of the universality of the artistic principles and of how the different cultures were in a continuous process of cultural interaction."
Cléa Daridan, senior curator and culture lead at Community Jameel, said: “The Jameel House of Traditional Arts celebrates the 13th graduation of a new batch of emerging talents in traditional Islamic geometry, drawing, colour harmony and arabesque studies, trained in ceramics, glass and gypsum, metalwork and woodwork decorations. In line with Community Jameel’s focus on sustaining traditional knowledge, including traditional arts, the programme develops students' abilities to apply the foundational skills they learn to contemporary design and the restoration of monuments.”
The Jameel House in Cairo was established with the aim of preserving cultural heritage and sustaining traditional knowledge in Egypt. The programme equips students with foundational skills including contemporary design, the restoration of monuments and assistance with vocational opportunities. Alumni of the Jameel House in Cairo have gone on to teach at academic institutions, venture into the world of furniture design, and continue to be featured in solo and group exhibitions.