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Proger, l’anima di Riyadh Art

A video to showcase the Saudi capital's transformation activities

Today Proger is working on new strategic projects, serving the economic development, acting as a leader of multi-national teams from all over the world, managing highly complex projects and creating a strong added value. The most recent of these is the Riyadh Art Program, which aims to turn the city into an open-air art gallery and make it a world-class tourist and cultural destination. 

Riyadh Art is one of four grand projects being developed by RCRC that will collectively transform the capital into an environmentally friendly, sustainable city which offers the highest standards of livability and lifestyle, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals.

Proger is in charge of the Program Management Office of this civic art initiative of unprecedented scale, with more than 1000 contemporary artwork to be installed in 300 sites across Riyadh, that will spectacularly transform public spaces, create a movement for artistic expression through community engagement, and accelerate the development of its cultural economy. 

In order to make such an ambitious vision come true, Proger has assembled a team of engineers, designers, managers, art experts and directors of some of the world’s most important museums to work together according to the company’s principles of flexibility and excellence. Notable collaborations include the Civita Group, KPMG and Ilaria Bonacossa, as well as one hundred professionals from all over the world, each with their own traditions and culture, but all united by Proger’s values of internationality and multidisciplinarity.

With a video made by Proger Smart Communication, the communications company controlled by Proger, the spectacular work being done with the Riyadh Art project was visually summarized.

Going into details, Riyadh Art is divided into 10 sub-programs and two annual festivals. 

Sub-programs range from Jewels of Riyadh, dedicated to site-specific installations of artworks by world-renowned artists in the city’s most important squares, to Hidden River, that is focused on illuminating the main bridges of the city and revitalising the wadis banks. They span different levels of scale and visual impact, from the numerous small playground projects of Joyous Gardens to the imposing works of Art on the Move and Welcoming Gateways, which will mark the most important infrastructural junctions and entrance ‘gates’ to the city. To complete the overview, we can mention Art in Transit, dedicated to metro and public transport stations, Urban Art Lab, Urban Flow, Garden City and Riyadh Icon, which will give life to a new landmark in the city, visual symbol of the cultural aspirations of Vision 2030. 

Then there are the two festivals, which are at the moment, the most tangible display of Riyadh Art: 

  • Noor Riyadh is a citywide annual festival of light and art consisting of numerous public art installations across Riyadh, an awe-inspiring exhibition and a diverse program of talks, tours, workshops and events. The first edition was held in March 2021 and was attended by more than 300.000 visitors. In a period of restrictions it really is an impressive number.
  • The Tuwaiq International Sculpture Symposium is an event gathering artists from all over the world to produce a series of permanent public sculptures. The entire creative process is open and accessible to the public with a program of events, visits and talks. The works will be on view at the end of the Symposium before moving to an open-air gallery that will be accessible to the public.

To date, much of this work has taken place behind the scenes and is not yet visible: Proger formed a panel of experts consisting of figures such as Eike Schmidt – Director of the Uffizi Galleries, Florence (Italy), Cristiana Collu – Director of National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rome (Italy), Director of the  21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Japan), Aric Chen –  Artistic Director?of Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam (Netherlands); so far, Proger has involved more than 200 artists from all over the world; identified a shortlist of 170 world-class artworks and selected 24 of them for purchase, after a careful evaluation by renowned international auction houses and the judgement of the experts panel; Proger launched 3 international competitions, in which it selected more than 20 proposals and, finally, presented a list of companies that will be responsible for constructing and installing the works and whose activities the company will supervise during the operational phase.