On Thursday 30 March 2017, Majlis Studio hosted a special event celebrating the work of resident artist and designer, Yusef Alahmad.
Yusef Alahmad was awarded the first Majlis Studio Artist Residency of 2017 by King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture. The Majlis Studio program is coordinated by CULTURUNNERS and fosters US-Saudi cultural exchange by providing a vocational experience for young Saudi artists in the heart of New York City. Artists live and work in the 1800 sq. ft. Tribeca Studio while additionally participating in Studio organized events, such as artists’ talks, visits by curators and critics, and a schedule of interactions with local museums and educational institutions.
Having recently completed his Master’s degree in Graphic Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Yusef has established his aesthetic in which he uses vivid colors, often incorporating Arabic typography and motifs, while also investigating the history of the design profession and intellectual property rights in Saudi Arabia. During his residency in New York, Yusef set up a pop-up printmaking studio and embarked on a series of projects incorporating different media to push the limits of materials. He regularly describes his work as a combination of his past and present, inspired by traditional elements from his childhood growing up in Saudi Arabia, while influenced by his studies and current life in the U.S.
During his residency, Yusef worked on his ongoing Skateboard series, which feature Islamic inspired calligraphy and patterns, in addition using a section of the Studio for experimentation and exhibition. His screen-print series consists of experimental Arabic typography developed during his MFA in San Francisco.
Yusef Alahmad is a Saudi graphic designer and artist based in San Francisco, California, having completed his MFA degree in graphic design at the Academy of Art University in December 2016, where his thesis explored ‘Elevating Graphic Design Standards in Saudi Arabia’. He is currently a full time freelancer, alternating between graphic design projects, editorial illustrations, and art commissions.
His work has been featured in Print Magazine (US), Baseline Magazine (US), Alef Magazine (Qatar), Oasis Magazine (Saudi Arabia), Design Magazine (Saudi Arabia), Khaleejesque Magazine (Kuwait), among others and exhibited in numerous shows around the world, including, P21 Gallery x Kalimat Magazine (London), SoulSpace (Oakland, California), Loud Art: Executing Culture Shock (Saudi Arabia), Khaleeji Reinterpreted(Kuwait), Local Not Local: The Arab American Museum/The Levantine Center (Michigan/Los Angeles). Recently, he was invited to speak at the Typo SF International design conference, in addition to being a judge in the second annual Arabic Design competition in Saudi Arabia.
King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, known as ithra, is a one-of-a-kind institution that brings together multiple offerings under one roof. From arts and culture to science and innovation, this bold initiative by Saudi Aramco promises a continuous journey of enrichment designed to energize the next knowledge economy of Saudi Arabia.
ithra aims to make a positive and tangible impact on the cultural scene by focusing on building local talents in the knowledge and creative industries. Blending iconic architectural design with advanced technology, and unique learning methods with enriching programs, ithra is an infinitely inspiring platform for explorers, learners, creators, and leaders–a thriving hub of knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement.
As the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strives to achieve its ambitious national development goals to transition to a knowledge-based economy, ithra acts as a bridge connecting cultures and cultivating a creative and innovative community.
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