Aiming to boost the handicraft market in Egypt, support artisans, and create a platform of art entrepreneurship, Art Jameel inaugurated on Sunday a programme to support the unique handmade industry in the country.
The programme is divided into two main sections, the inaugural Atelier Cairo winter fair, a bazaar of traditional and contemporary works of craft and design for sale, while the second part is a series of workshops covering business planning and financial literacy, tailored to the craft sector.
The programme takes place in collaboration with Bab Rizk Jameel, an initiative aiming to provide loans to productive families across the governorates
The winter fair takes place under the umbrella of Atelier Cairo Art Jameel, which is a platform launched by Art Jameel to support Egyptian entrepreneurship, artisanship, and design, and includes the institution’s alumni who organise and run the planned programmes.
“The programme aims to enhance real-world skills and opportunities for designers and entrepreneurs engaged in the revival and development of traditional artisanal crafts,” Art Jameel stated in a press release.
“Since its launch in February of this year, Atelier Cairo Art Jameel has built on the foundations set by the Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Cairo and the many other institutions active in the revival of Egypt’s traditional crafts, to empower local artisans to start or expand their businesses,” said George Richards, head of Heritage Programmes, Art Jameel.
“We are delighted to be working with Darb 1718 – an organisation dedicated to supporting emerging artists and designers – on our collective goals of strengthening and nourishing the contemporary design and traditional craft community,” he added.
The fair showcases a various collection of Egyptian design and craft, including jewellery, ceramics, veneer woodwork, and home furnishings and décor, and winter seasonal gifts, all crafted by the students of the Jameel House of Traditional Arts.
The Jameel House of Traditional Arts provides Egyptians with classes in traditional Islamic geometry, drawing, colour harmony, and arabesque studies, as well as specialised training in ceramics, glass and gypsum, metalwork, and woodwork. It is a collaboration between Art Jameel, the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and the Cultural Development Fund.
At Zamalek’s Atelier Cairo Art Jameel, the fair runs until 19 December and the programme of workshops will run until 30 December.
Art Jameel is an independent organisation which fosters and promotes contemporary art, cultural heritage protection, and creative entrepreneurship across the Middle East and North Africa.