Beautiful old stone stables in the small town of Aley, tucked away on Mount Lebanon about 17km from Beirut, are now residences for Syrian artists displaced by the current conflict back home. Founder of Art Residence Aley Raghad Mardini used her skills as a civil engineer to renovate the stables and create a space for artists to live and work.
Mardini hosts a couple of artists at a time, for two to four weeks. Artists are provided with room and board, all materials they need to work and a small stipend for pocket money. ARA also tries to connect artists with galleries or organizations who might be interested commissioning artwork.
ARA is intended to provide an intimate and creative environment for artists to communicate with each other. “The result is a unique forum for Syrian artworks to reach a wider audience and to develop in an atmosphere of freedom of expression.”