Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo celebrates eighth graduation ceremony

  • The Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo celebrates the graduation of 17 promising artists over four specialisations: gypsum and glass, woodwork, metalwork and ceramics
  • The programme is a collaboration between Art Jameel, the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and the Cultural Development Fund of Egypt
  • Extended application process launched for 2018-2020 diploma; Applications to be submitted in person on September 24, 2018

The Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo, a centre for the study of traditional arts and the preservation of heritage, will celebrate the graduation of its 8th class of students with a ceremony to take place at the Fustat Traditional Crafts Centre on September 26, 2018 This year sees the graduation of 17 promising artists over four specialisations: gypsum and glass, woodwork, metalwork and ceramics.

The Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo, launched in 2009 by Art Jameel, the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and Egypt’s Cultural Development Fund, has also opened its application process for the 2018-2020 diploma programme in traditional arts, design and crafts. After receiving record numbers of applications in 2017, an extended application process has been launched for 2018; fierce competition is anticipated for the 18 places on the intensive two-year programme.

The diploma programme is rooted in Cairo’s rich, unique architectural and design history: this year, for example, students undertook field work at Sultan Al-Ghuri mosque in Historic Cairo, and produced new works inspired by the architectural features of the city’s Islamic monuments; students also took a new course in traditional Egyptian glassblowing at the Hodhod workshop in the Northern Cemetery.

Mamdouh Sakr, director of the programme at the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo, said: “This year some of the projects of our students show strong inspiration from Cairo’s magnificent monuments. Apparently being engaged in the heritage project, which this year was the madrasa of Sultan Qunswa Al-Ghuri, benefited them a lot. One of the students decided to make brass door knockers inspired by those of Al-Ghuri and other monuments. While other students decided to implement the intricate old wood joinery techniques in contemporary uses such as screens and window shutters. It is a great delight that our students are responding to the contemporary needs while seeking inspiration from our impressive architectural and artistic heritage.”

On graduation, students have access to opportunities to continue practising their crafts, from the annual alumni exhibition (held in 2017 at the Maq’ad of Sultan Qaitbey in the Northern Cemetery ), to summer outreach programmes for children in underserved neighbourhoods of Cairo (held in Al-Khalifa in 2017 and in Al-Darb Al-Ahmar in 2018), and to expanding opportunities for graduates to establish their own businesses. This year, Art Jameel has launched the Atelier Cairo Art Jameel as a platform for Egyptian artisanship and design. Located in Zamalek, Cairo, the Atelier combines a co-working space for upcoming craft designers, a public programme of workshops in the traditional arts, and business training and incubator support for craft entrepreneurs. Founding participants at the Atelier Cairo Art Jameel include a number of alumni of the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo.

“The year 2018 at the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo saw series of initiatives and events and will celebrate for the eighth year in a row the graduation of a new batch of emerging talents in traditional Islamic geometry, drawing, colour harmony and arabesque studies, as well as specialised training in ceramics, glass and gypsum, metalwork and woodwork decorations," said Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel.

“In line with Art Jameel’s focus on preserving cultural heritage, including traditional arts in Egypt, the programme develops students' abilities to apply the foundational skills they learn during the programme to contemporary design and the restoration of monuments; the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo will continue to focus on developing the students' abilities to apply the basic skills they have learned during the program and to provide them with jobs in the fields of art and design.”

The graduation ceremony will take place in the presence of students' friends and family, alumni from previous editions of the programme, as well as several distinguished guests from Egypt's cultural scene. The event will begin with a walk-through the exhibition displaying the students’ work, followed by a welcome address by Mamdouh Sakr. Dr. Khaled Azzam, director of the Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts, will then give a brief introduction to the programme, followed by a speech by Dr. Fathy Abdel Wahab, head of the Cultural Development Fund.  The day will conclude with the presentation of diploma certificates to graduating students and a group photograph commemorating the event. The graduating students’ work will be exhibited from 27 – 4 October, open daily (except the weekend) from 10 am to 3 pm at the Fustat Traditional Crafts Centre.

To apply to the 2018-2020 programme, check out the Jameel House of Traditional Arts / Cairo social media pages for the application form.

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