Biography

Born in Washington, DC, originally from Qassim, & currently based in Riyadh.

Meshal Al-Obaidallah (مشعل العبيدالله) is an independent artist and curator. He is interested in experimental modes of archiving narratives. Through cultural artifacts, his works document current issues and affairs in Saudi Arabia (and the Arab world). His practice is centered around the question: Before it is forgotten, how can our ever-changing present-day culture be preserved?

Some of his projects include: Shimagh Series (2014–ongoing), ṣiyāḡah (2020) and FAREWELL ARABIA (2021–ongoing). The Shimagh Series was acquired by Greenbox Museum (in Amsterdam). And it was auctioned by ArteEast (in New York) and by Al-Mansouria Foundation (in Jeddah).

In 2019–2020, Meshal conceived, curated, and oversaw ṣiyāḡah (صياغة). The curatorial project is a demonstrative exploration of typography, illustration, and narratives. ṣiyāḡah (2020) was a year-long two-location exhibition within King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh. It took place in both ‘@ the Main Hall’ and ‘@ the Satellite Space’ (a pop-up site for art installations). It included over 100 works by more than 30 artists (from established to emerging local artists).

In 2020–2021, Meshal further developed his artistic/curatorial practice. Athr Gallery (in Jeddah) awarded him the Maan grant. The Ministry of Culture (in Diriyah) selected him for the inaugural Art Residency | Albalad in Jeddah. Art Jameel (in Dubai) shortlisted him for the Hayy:Learning Curatorial Fellowship. The Arab British Centre (in London) selected him for the Making Marks: Connect ME Winter Residency. Ithra (in Dhahran) selected him for the Creative Solutions Program. At Ithra’s Idea Lab, he was developing an immersive exhibition experience, by using extended reality (XR) technology.

Most recently, he enrolled in the International Curatorial Program at the Node Center for Curatorial Studies (in Berlin). And Meshal co-curated the winning indoor bid for the upcoming Noor Riyadh 2022–2023.

Now, he is developing several projects. He is collaborating with various creatives from around the region. Also, Meshal is establishing an independent space in Riyadh.

Experience

Co-Curator

Noor Riyadh bid

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia · 2022

Meshal co-curated the winning indoor bid for the Noor Riyadh 2022–2023.

Curator

ṣiyāḡah (صياغة)

King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia · 2020

“ṣiyāḡah” (صياغة) is an exploration of typography & calligraphy, illustration & graphic design, and narratives & storytelling. It was a year-long two-location group art exhibition within King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh.

It took place in both ‘@ the Main Hall’ and ‘@ the Satellite Space,’ which is a pop-up site for art installations. It included over 100 works by more than 30 artists, from established to emerging local artists in their debut.

Awards
2021 Creative Solutions Program , Ithra, Resident
2021 Making Marks: Connect ME Winter Residency , Arab British Centre, Resident
2020 Art Residency Program | Al Balad , Ministry of Culture, Resident
2020 Maan Grant , Athr Gallery, Recipient
2020 Hayy:Learning Curatorial Fellowship Programme , Art Jameel, Shortlisted
2019 Fa’nan , Misk Art Institute, Shortlisted
2016 4th International Emerging Artist Award , Emerging Scene, Winner
2015 The Clyde & Co Art Award , Clyde & Co, Finalist
2014 Create & Inspire , Crossway Foundation, Shortlisted
Exhibitions
2020 Al-Mansouria Silent Auction, Saudi Art Council, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2020 Shara Art Fair, Saudi Art Council, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2020 CONCEPTS, Tasami Lab, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2018 Elevision Weekly Art, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, UAE
2018 Mother Tongue: The Art of Printed Language, East of West, Santa Fe, NM
2017 Benefit Auction for ArteEast, Mosafer, New York, NY
2017 PULSE, Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2017 TRANSITION, Menier Gallery, London, UK
2016 Malja Call Out II, Malja – A Red Bull Space, Manama, Bahrain
2016 World Art Dubai, Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE
2016 Views, The Ritz-Carlton, Manama, Bahrain
2016 Identity Borders, Al Riwaq Art Space, Manama, Bahrain
2016 Hawamish, Tasami Lab, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2016 MENA Art, The Gallery of Light, Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre, Dubai, UAE
2015 60%, Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2015 artRiyadh, Naila Art Gallery, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2015 Saudiverse, Rukun Gallery, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2015 Wejhat Nathar, Raffles Design Institute, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2015 Clyde & Co’s Middle East and North Africa Community Art Project, Clyde & Co, Dubai, UAE
2014 LoudArt, Naila Art Gallery, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2014 LoudArt, Desert Design Gallery, Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Elsewhere