Bahrain Art in embassies cultural EXCHANGE PROGRAM 2018

(L to R) US Ambassador Justin Siberell, Bernadette Jiyong Frank, Goetz Frank, Ezmeralda Kabbani, Italian Ambassador and his wife, and Mrs. Arnie Siberell

Reception at Ambassador's Residence

Through the Art in Embassies program, Ambassador Justin Siberell, a native Californian from Hillsborough, has invited me and Goetz to participate in their Cultural Exchange Program. One week was filled with our workshops and lectures, as well as exhibitions of my work at the Ambassador's residence and at the Bait Al Salmaniya Art Center.

Image right: (L to R) Composer/flutist Ahmed Al Ghanem, artist Ali Hussain Merza, Bernadette Jiyong Frank, Assoc. Professor of Art & Design Samaa Algashimi, artist Leena Al Ayoobi & her husband Abdulrahman Almokla


Watercolor Workshops

In 3 days I held total of 5 watercolor workshops with art students, high school students and artists/enthusiasts at University College of Bahrain, University of Bahrain, Hawar International School, and Bait Al Salmaniya Art Center. Students spoke impeccable English as private schools receive British/American education. It was a rewarding experience to have worked with these bright, creative students of Bahrain.

With art students of University College of Bahrain
With students at Bait Al Salmaniya Art Center
With students of University of Bahrain
High school students of Hawar International School

Bait Al Salmaniya

Creative Community and Cultural Space

Exhibition at Bait Al Salmaniya

After the Ambassador's reception, my work was transferred to Bait Al Salmaniya for a month-long exhibition.

With owner of the space, Elham Fakhro, and her associate.

House of Art

Shaikh Ebrahim Center for Culture and Research

Shaikh Ebrahim Center for Culture and Research

Founded by Shaikha Mai, former Minister of Culture and a visionary woman, who now spearheads the organization to preserve the Bahraini culture, the center has restored around ten traditional Bahraini houses for cultural activities, preserving the original architecture while modernizing them with contemporary design. Each house is dedicated to a Bahraini cultural heritage such as House for Poetry, House for Music, or House of Art, etc.

In photos: House of Art, Children's Library, House for Bahraini Press Heritage
Garden of Water, one of the sites restored at the center.
In photos: Vertical Garden, Memory of the Place, Garden of Water, House of Architecture
Goetz gave a lecture on State of Green: Sustainability in Architecture in the U.S. at the Shaikh Ebrahim Center.
Center's Auditorium (R: equipment check)
With Shaikha Mai, founder of Sh. Ebrahim Center for Culture and Research

National Theater

Bahrain National Theater

Designed by Architecture-Studio of Paris, the theater has 1001 seats (as in the Arabian Nights), and this elegant design has the shape of a boat on the inside. As part of the cultural exchange, a tour of the National Theater and the National Museum was graciously arranged by the Embassy with the Museum Director.

Bahrain National Museum

Reconstructions bring the history of Bahrain alive, from the Dilmun civilization to the religion, people, crafts, agriculture, burial rituals, religions and much more.

Delmon Pottery

A' Ali Pottery Factories and 4,000 year-old Dilmun burial mounds

Bahrain, once the ancient land of Dilmun and later Tylos, was a hub for pottery-making. In the small village of A'ali, where the royal burial mounds of the Dilmun's kings and queens were laid to rest, traditional pottery workshops still operate in this ancient archeological site. The owner of the Delmon shop has been carrying on a trade that has been passed down for generations. The Bahraini clay doesn't take glazing well, so many items are left unglazed.

Potters use the old-fashioned foot operated wheel, and baking the finished pots in kilns built into the nearby burial mounds; a traditional method passed down through generations.

4,000 year-old burial mounds dating back to the Dilmun, the Umm al-Nar culture.

Manama Souq

The Market

Manama Souq

The Manama Souq, one of Bahrain's oldest markets, is on the Pearling pathway (Pearl Route) and gives an atmosphere of old Bahraini life. You can find traditional clothing, jewelry, coffee, spices, and confectionary.

From a Tea House to a traditional Bahraini food to a perfumery, the Souq is bustling with life.

Traditional Bread Baking

Art installation with gold and pearls

Beit Al Qur'an

House of Qur'an

Beit Al Qur'an

Housed in a building spectacularly engraved with Arabic script, Beit al Quran (House of Quran) showcases a fascinating collection of Quranic manuscripts as well as a library of over 50,000 books written in Arabic, English, and French that center mostly on Islam. Holy Quran, while its manuscript cannot be changed, is exhibited in variety of text books of different sizes and shapes written in different styles.

Al Fateh Grand Mosque

Al Fateh Grand Mosque

Bahrain’s largest place of worship and among one of the largest mosques in the world and has the ability to host over 7000 worshippers.

Created By
Bernadette Frank


Photo Credits: Goetz Frank, Bernadette J Frank