19 Jan 2017 - 27 Jan 2017

As part of the programming surrounding Phantom Punch: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia in Lewiston, noted Saudi Calligraphy artist Nugamshi performed and exhibited work made as an artist-in-residence. Nugamshi painted live, and presented his work in the studio where was artist-in-residence in downtown Lewiston.

A prominent proponent of the “calligraffiti” movement, Nugamshi makes innovate use of Arabic calligraphy, transforming this traditional art form into an expressive contemporary vehicle. While his work is firmly rooted in the spiritual essence of the Arabic language, he also incorporates Japanese and Chinese calligraphic techniques into his work. He paints with acrylic and crude oil.

As a performer, Nugamshi sees his role as instigator, provoking dialogue between viewers and the words they see. “With each performance,” he explains, “I bring new emotions, new stories, and a new understanding. My art practice forces me to develop a relationship between myself and the chosen word. Thinking in Arabic and surrounded by English or Arabic speakers does not affect how I am connected with the wall in front of me. Instead, in every performance, a new facet of my understanding is reflected in the speed and rhythm of my hands. One day I find myself pressing hard into the wall and the other I am lightly gliding my hand across it.”

Nugamshi currently lives in Riyadh and is a Gharem Studio artist. He trained as a graphic designer specializing in branding and type design; he currently works as a graphic designer for a local bank in Riyadh, focusing on its print and web design. Nugamshi has taught workshops on basic training techniques and history of calligraffiti at YourAOK art organization in Kuwait and has presented performances and staged exhibitions in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and the US. Most recently, he presented his video works in the 2016 Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial.

Supported by the Museum Synergy Fund.

Featured Artists


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.


As a teaching museum at a liberal arts college, the Museum of Art and its exhibitions, collections, stewardship, and interpretation bring a world of ideas to campus that  enhance the vitality of the intellectual and cultural life of Bates, the surrounding communities, and beyond. The museum serves as a laboratory for the development and presentation of thought-provoking exhibitions; acquires and stewards artworks that  strengthen the collection in ways that support the liberal arts curriculum; develops a wide  variety of education programs that are integral to Bates and the broader community, especially K-12 students; supports creative, rigorous, and original scholarship; and  provides professional training opportunities through internships. The Bates Museum of Art is recognized for presenting ambitious and adventuresome thematic exhibitions of regional, national, and international artists, and for integrating them into the academic and cultural life of campus, the surrounding communities, and the state of Maine.

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