Shakti: Schooling Egypt's Arts Community
Cairo's newest arts school combines creative freedom, expert tutors and a supportive community for an all-encompassing experience at the multi-disciplinary facility.We speak to the founders to find out more...
It was Salvador Dali who famously said “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” This is true of all disciplines, as very seldom do artists create inspirationally unique works of art without first learning the proper techniques behind the craft. Looking to provide the professional training needed to find your artistic voice is Cairo’s newest art centre, 'Shakti'.
Founded in June 2014 by Moamen Mahrous and his talented team of Basma Darwish, Abeer Mambouh, Ali Mahmoud, Mariam Choukry and Nourhan El Kady, Shakti is the newest art school providing a plethora of experience in a wide array of disciplines. “We are the students of the artist Saleh Abdel Sabour,” proudly proclaims Mahrous referring to the award winning artist who founded Artzone. Sadly, Sabour passed away in 2013, but his dream would live on as Mahrous explains: “After the death of Saleh we developed the concept and extended the vision of ArtZone to be Shakti.” Continuing to honour Saleh’s legacy, Shakti’s main objective “isn’t only about learning a new craft or exploring a new hobby, it is about awakening passion. Being attentive to your senses is a gift that we tend to overlook by the continuous process of complaining.”
Located in Maadi, this art school offers a broad range of courses including drawing, painting, photography, interior design, philosophy in advertising, yoga, origami, and mosaic art. What makes Shakti stand out is the well-educated instructors that not only teach technique, but come with the experience that guarantees to help shape your artistic mind. “Our photography instructor is Rehab El Dalil, a National Geographic published photographer and co-author of the book The Road to Tahrir," explains Mahrous about the quality professionals Shakti provides.
In less than half a year, this art school has already recruited 25 students, and a variety of professionals providing a mixture of courses that bring enlightenment to any soul looking for an artistic way to express themself. As described by one of their students named Mariam “In Shakti, I’m not just a student, I’m actually a part of a family that helps me improve and gives me all the support I need.” Needless to say, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, as Shakti provides more than just skills, but rather a sense of belonging to something larger than a class. Hosting both philosophical and spiritual workshops as well as organising interesting trips, Shakti is determined to attract a multitude of knowledge seekers looking to explore and develop the arts community.
Egyptians have influenced art history for millenniums, but in modern times have completely overlooked the value of art in both culture and society. Much of this can be attributed to the parental mentality that the only ‘acceptable’ professions involve engineering, medicine, business, or law school. All noble and important professions, however, should be considered equal to the arts, as it is only the discipline which encompasses a gauntlet of emotions that in turn define both past and future generations.
Find out more about Shakti here.