A Guide To The Art Scene in Beirut

By MAD

Growing up in Lebanon, especially in Beirut, has given me the advantage of discovering almost all of its nooks and crannies. Beirut is a city rich with heritage, with culture and with history and in its undoubtable beauty lies so many hidden gems and secrets of the past. How does one discover what Beirut has to offer if not through its now booming art scene?

Of course, one cannot compare the growing art scene in Lebanon to that of European countries. Coming from a troubled past enriched with wars, sectarianism and division, Lebanese artists have a lot emotions to fuel their art with. This is what makes the art scene in Lebanon, especially in the capital of Beirut, unique; many artists draw on their personal experiences with civil war that extended from 1975 till the 1990s, with personal experiences of sectarianism, homophobia and even sexual harassment as well as their lack of inclusion due to feeling like they belong to a minority.

On the other hand, other artists are inspired by the beauty of the Lebanese heritage, old Beirut and the beauty of today’s activism.

Beirut Art Center
Known as one of Beirut’s biggest art venues, Beirut Art Center hosts art in all its forms: from musical performances to art galleries. It aims to portray all types of modern art.

Sursock Museum
Forever a pillar in the Lebanese art scene, Sursock became an even bigger cultural hub for artists after its renovation, hosting different exhibitions throughout each year with the aim to challenge and inform its audience.

Plan Bey
A worthy mention located in the heart of Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Plan Bey is a humble gallery with affordable, local paintings, photographs and postcards by Lebanese artists. The pieces reflect the city, and sometimes the country, through the eyes of their creators.

Art on the 56th
A historical building turned into a shelter for art in the heart of Gemmayze, this is how one can summarize Art on the 56th aside from its local and international selection of expressive art.

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