ArtBahrain is a brand-new art event held in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the first large-scale art event in the country to feature both local and international artists. The primary aim of this inaugural event was to celebrate the country’s deeply artistic history and culture by welcoming international art, artists, galleries and collectors to the country, while also showcasing the talents of emerging and established local artists. The organisers wanted to provide each of these talents with a common platform to synergise, interact, learn, develop, and grow – with the common goal being motivating a wide audience of citizens, collectors and art curators from around Bahrain to embrace the arts.

With any inaugural event, attracting enough sponsors to create ‘critical mass’ is always a challenge. Pico assigned a dedicated team to establish contacts and close deals, whose commendable hard work resulted in a number of high-profile sponsors being signed at the Platinum, Gold and Silver tier levels, as well as other sponsors who provided media, hotel and logistics support.

Creating the venue itself also proved to be an interesting challenge. The location – a newly-reclaimed and as-yet undeveloped area of land at the heart of the business district – was the ideal place to hold this brand-new event and show off structures that only Pico could create at the same time. However, preparing the ground for the marquee and other tent structures involved a great deal of effort. First, the land had to be perfectly flattened and leveled. This process took a full week before the tent structures could be erected.  Then temporary roads and car park spaces were added, in addition to entrance walkways constructed of interlocking bricks for the VIP guests. The result was even better than anticipated, with a beautiful and attention-grabbing venue popping up in the middle of this thriving city.

This first edition of the ArtBahrain saw acclaimed artists and galleries from around the world travel to Bahrain and create awareness of international art, while local talents highlighted the delights of the domestic art scene in a special area at the venue. Showcasing classical art, contemporary art, art from Southeast Asia and the Middle East as well as sculpture, digital photography and more, ArtBahrain was a truly eclectic and diverse show with something for everyone.

Pico’s tasks were focused on creating the perfect environment to house the artists and their work. Delivering a dramatic dome marquee structure, alongside numerous tents and other temporary structures, the team also performed detailed interior fit-out work, as well as lighting, sound and branding. The professional museum wall and lighting systems inside the structures perfectly complemented the stunning artwork.

An ArtBahrain Talk also held at the venue featured international artists and speakers discussing their common goals, whether they were collecting, investing in art or about the general art scene in the Middle East.

When all was said and done, the Pico team turned the newly-reclaimed Bahrain Harbour area into a regally elegant, if temporary, home for this art extravaganza. With the first show being such a success, future editions of ArtBahrain are certain to appear.

“I am pleased at how it looks. I love the size, the shape and the soul of the beating heart in the middle. It is beautifully done…We all have the same soul, we share it and we share the universe together. My work is meant to reflect that and I think this art fair has been a great platform for this. I am really pleased.” - Sacha Jafri, an artist from United Kingdom