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