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Khalid Mezaina at The Jam Jar

Emirati artist’s OCCUPY project, titled Charmed, is based on the research he is doing on talismans

Image Credit: Supplied
Gulf News

Emirati artist Khalid Mezaina is presenting his work at The Jam Jar in the latest edition of OCCUPY. This is an initiative through which The Jam Jar invites artists to ‘occupy’ the front window of its space in Alserkal Avenue, giving them an opportunity to showcase their work to a wide audience.

Mezaina is a graphic designer and has worked as a project coordinator for art institutions in the UAE such as the Sharjah Art Foundation and Tashkeel. His art practice is rooted in Emirati culture and is focused on documenting the past in a fast-changing society. The artist is currently doing his MFA in Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). His OCCUPY project, titled Charmed (above), is based on the research he is doing on talismans, for this course. The work features a dark creature with multiple heads and a serpentine tail, referencing the tradition of installing lucky charms at the entrances of occupied spaces and representing the artist’s personal interpretation of belief, tradition and society. The Jam Jar is a community arts space and hosts a variety of art programmes, educational initiatives and community projects throughout the year. Its programme for September includes art workshops and educational courses for all ages.

The workshops will be held every Saturday, and include a session on still life watercolour painting for adults on September 9, conducted by artist Anna Galea; and a DIY Tote Bag Painting session for adults on September 16, where artist Nori Elhami will help participants to create personalised, hand painted tote bags. These will be followed by an Acrylic painting workshop for people of all skill levels aged over 15, on September 23; and a DIY Woodwork workshop for adults on September 30. This will be led by Miaser Al-Habori, founder of Kashab Design, and participants will learn to create small up-cycled furniture and home décor pieces from reclaimed wood, using simple carpentry tools.

The Autumn session of The Jam Jar’s Young Artists Programme for seniors (age 13-14) and juniors (age 7-12) begins on September 13, and will explore the theme of ‘Place’. The Art Academy for ages 15 and above, where participants get personalised guidance and exposure to various media and techniques, also reopens on September 16, and will focus on the same theme. Throughout September, The Jam Jar is also offering special discounts on DIY painting and art workshops to all students with valid ID cards. For more information and registration write to

Khalid Mezaina will occupy the window at The Jam Jar, Alserkal Avenue, until November 31.