Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah inaugurated the Wijdan Art Space building at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts (JNGFA) Park in Jabal Al Weibdeh on Tuesday, in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Wijdan bint Fawaz Al-Hashemi and other members of the Royal Family.
Named in honor of Princess Wijdan, president of the Royal Society of Fine Arts (RSFA), the Wijdan Art Space includes studios and spaces for mentored courses and workshops in drawing, painting, pottery, sculpture, printmaking, graphic design, and art appreciation. These training opportunities, to be announced on all JNGFA social media platforms, will cater to students, emerging artists, and hobbyists of all ages.
The Wijdan Art Space also includes outdoor areas for hosting cultural, artistic, and musical evenings, as well as a café serving trainees and visitors.
During the event, it was also announced that the original building housing the JNGFA had also been named after Princess Wijdan, a decision by the RSFA Board of Trustees to acknowledge Her Royal Highness’ role in supporting art and artists over the past 44 years.
“Here, in what was a single-story house featuring a collection of 77 artworks, a dream was born,” said JNGFA Director General Dr. Khaled Khreis. “Princess Wijdan’s passion for art led her to establish the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in this very building.”
“This monument to art and culture, which now includes four buildings and a park, is not only a platform for artists from Jordan and the Arab World, but also as a bridge between cultures and civilizations conveying the message of coexistence, love, and peace through art,” Khreis added.
In 1979, Princess Wijdan decided to dedicate herself to the promotion of art in Jordan and the creation of an accessible space for Arab art, leading her to found the RSFA and, one year later, the JNGFA, established in a rented villa fitted with dozens of pieces of art, most of which came from her private collection.
Today, the gallery has 3,000 works in its permanent collection, and has grown to become a dynamic institution comprising four buildings, a park, and various projects, such as its Touring Museum and The Factory Platform, which aims to involve the local community in all aspects of the creative process.
Following the establishment of the JNGFA, Her Royal Highness was inspired to further her education by studying art movements in the region. She received a doctorate in Islamic Art from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1993, and has since written and edited several books on the history of Islamic Art.
In addition to teaching at three leading Jordanian universities, the Princess also founded the Higher Institute of Islamic Art and Architecture at Al al-Bayt University and the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan, where she served as its first dean.
Source: Jordan News Agency