Bait al Zubair International Residency Programme provides artists based outside the Sultanate of Oman with the opportunity to work in Muscat for a period of up to one month.
Bait al Zubair, based in the old quarter of Muscat, is a 5 building cultural complex made up of a museum showcasing Omani heritage and tradition, a four story art gallery which hosts the largest public collection of Omani contemporary art, a commercial art gallery as well as an artspace/café which hosts seminars and lectures. Bait al Zubair also has a 230 seater multi-purpose hall with a full lighting and sound rig as well as a research library.
Residencies are non-prescriptive and process-based, allowing visiting artists to develop art work in response to their new environment.
This residency programme contributes to promoting the diversity of cultures and practices through international projects. Work in progress will be displayed during an open studio at which audiences have an opportunity to meet the artist and discuss the work.
Visiting artists can work with Omani based artists through initial networking opportunities and are expected to conduct a workshop and lecture within the first ten days of their stay. The workshop should be of practical nature exploring their technique with a small group of Omani artists. The lecture can be about the artist’s practice but of a more theoretical nature with references to artists who have influenced their work and some art history. This will help the visiting artist to meet and network with Omani based artists. Visiting artists are also encouraged to make independent links with other artists, organisations, students and arts professionals in Muscat as a means of establishing a mutual exchange of ideas.
2. Development of Practice
Through looking at the Omani art scene and being in a new context, artists can take away ideas and viewpoints that will inform the development of their practice. It is hoped that the resident artist will take advantage of the Bait al Zubair collection in their work.
Artists are expected to be quite independent. We do not provide full time artistic assistance, however the residency programme offers some administrative and creative support. Bait al Zubair staff are keen to discuss works in progress and will inform the visiting artist about sourcing materials, offering local
knowledge, contacts and creative input. However it is expected that the artist is prepared to drive or use taxis to travel within Muscat to source their materials if needed.
3. Open Studios
All residencies culminate in an Open Studio in Dalaleel Café where the artists show the work produced during their time in Oman. Open Studios run for three days and offer an opportunity for Omani audiences to see international work. Unlike exhibitions, Open Studios focus on process and feedback as they often present works in progress and encourage interaction and dialogue between the artists and the audience.
The programme is open to artists who work in all disciplines, however one must note the restricted facilities. A wide variety of space is available for artists involved in the residency programme. All accommodation costs are covered by Bait al Zubair, and there is a café on site for lunch and refreshments. Some basic studio equipment is provided, but Bait al Zubair will discuss equipment needed with the artist prior to him / her travelling to Oman. Artists are encouraged to work in our public art space if at all possible. All spaces in Bait al Zubair have wireless internet access. A valid driving license is useful (probably required or the artists will have to use taxis).
5. The package
Every year, three, one-month residencies will become available. The residencies at Bait al Zubair will be end November/December, January and March each year.
Who can apply?
The residencies are open to artists at the beginning of their professional development, with a focus on artists 25 – 35 years of age. Artists will need to be prepared to engage with Omani artists and the public to discuss their work, potentially working collaboratively. Artists are expected to produce work while in the country and art expected to donate one piece of work to the growing Bait al Zubair Permanent Art Collection.
In general, resident artists will have completed their (art) studies and have worked independently as artists for three to five years prior to their application.
The selection procedure consists of a number of rounds. Artistic quality and development potential as well as evidence of collaboration and interaction with others are the decisive factors. Candidates are not expected to be formal teachers however they are expected to share their practice and skills.
In brief, an application consists of: – the application form, completed – documentation of work
– statement on workshops / lectures to be given
– native Arabic or English speaker or evidence of English language ability to IELTS 6.5
– once shortlisted, Bait al Zubair may contact you to discuss the residency by e mail and or skype (or equivalent)
The application form should be completed in English. All correspondence relating to the application is in English.
The Bait al Zubair Foundation will cover the costs of accommodation and provide a grant of GBP1,000 to cover living expenses in Oman.
Discounted breakfast and lunch is available in the on site Dalaleel Café.
Bait al Zubair will refunded a return economy flight to Oman to a maximum of GBP400.
Materials will need to be acquired by the resident artist. There is limited art supplies in Muscat however it is expected that successful applicants will be using materials of a less traditional nature.
Accommodation is on site at Bait al Zubair, Old Muscat Oman and consists of a small apartment with bathroom, kitchenette, sitting room and bedroom. The apartment is furnished and equipped to a basic standard for one person. There is excellent light in the studio area and a small balcony facing the mountains.