Mamluk brasswork, traditional ceramics are highlights in graduation show for 21 students at the Jameel House in Cairo

Cairo, Egypt
  • 21 students specialising in brasswork, ceramics and woodwork graduated from the two-year Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Cairo programme
  • The ceremony was held on September 5 at the Jameel House, with an exhibition open to the public until September 12
  • The Jameel House is a collaboration between Art Jameel, the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and the Cultural Development Fund of Egypt

A Mamluk chandelier and ceramics evoking medieval Islamic motifs were among the highlights at the graduation ceremony for 21 students of the two-year programme at the Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Cairo, a centre for the study of traditional arts and the preservation of heritage. The ceremony took place on September 5 at the Jameel House, in the Fustat Traditional Crafts Centre in Old Cairo, in the presence of Dr Enas Abdel Dayem, Minister of Culture in Egypt, Dr Fathy Abdel Wahab, head of the Cultural Development Fund, Dr Khaled Azzam, deputy executive director of the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, and representatives of Art Jameel, an organisation that supports artists and creative communities. This was the ninth cohort to graduate from the Jameel House and the students’ works are now on display in a public exhibition at the Jameel House until September 12.

“We noticed this year a significant development in the graduates’ work and their confident, articulate presentation skills. This year, two students who specialised in brasswork created replicas of Mamluk metalwork: a table and a chandelier. The results are impressive and indicate the potential of creating works for museum shops in Egypt,” said Mamdouh Sakr, director of the programme at the Jameel House.

“Most of the students who specialized in woodwork were keen to make furniture pieces. This was challenging for some of them, but again the results were satisfying. The ceramics group created a variety of designs for plates and decorative panels that showed how they were able to draw inspiration from various sources and references,” he added.

The graduation ceremony took 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. Graduates received certificates.

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 programme also focuses on securing job opportunities for its students within the fields of art and design, and some of its more than 90 graduates have gone on to teach at academic institutions, venture into the world of furniture design, and hold successful exhibitions of their artwork.

The graduates’ work is on display in a public exhibition, free and open to all, from September 5 – 12 from 10am to 3pm, at the Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Cairo in the Fustat Traditional Crafts Centre.

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