Speaking to society and societyâ€™s issues is the focus of a new University of Memphis art exhibit from Saudi Arabian artists.
The Art Museum of the University of Memphis (AMUM) is featuring the â€œDesert to Deltaâ€ exhibit from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Memphis is the ninth city out of eleven to host it. The exhibit will be on display until Jan. 6, 2018.Â
Culturunners, a nonprofit organization that sends Saudi artwork around the world, offered the exhibition to AMUM in winter of 2016, and after a series of meetings, the artwork was chosen and displays were in the works, Warren Perry, assistant director of AMUM, said. The artwork displayed was chosen from a large group of amateur Saudi Arabian artists, many of whom were under 35.
â€œIn preparation for the exhibition, we reviewed hundreds and hundreds of works of art from Saudi artists,â€ Perry said.Â
The exhibit aims to point out people problems in the government, society and environment, much like other exhibits that have been displayed at AMUM, according to Perry.
â€œItâ€™s a whole new generation out there,â€ Perry said. â€œTheyâ€™re trying to see what they can do with respect to womenâ€™s rights, politics, religion and the environment.â€
Perry said Memphis as a whole benefits from exhibits like this because the artists are taking a role in politics and human rights, and they inspire local artists of Memphis.
â€œThis exhibition gives us a lens toward a part of the world, with which many of us are not familiar,â€ Perry said. â€œWith respect to these young artists, their part is very dynamic.â€
Perry said Saudi Arabia has many aspects similar to other countries, including being home to major artists, but the country has been disregarded due to the idea that â€œMuslims are radical fundamentalists.â€
Perry said the artists took unimaginable risks in displaying their artwork, which might disregard the ideals or laws put up by the government.Â
â€œThe fact that we have this work says something about their ability to make a statement and to get people to listen,â€ Perry said.Â