Arwa is an Urban ArtWorks volunteer, helping us out with a ton of creative projects. We asked her about her background, and her thoughts on public art:

How did you find out about Urban ArtWorks?

Last Winter quarter, Paulina (Urban ArtWorks Project Coordinator) and I shared the same Arts and Community Engagement class in Grad school. During that quarter the only thing Lina talked about was Urban ArtWorks, even her assignments were about it. Her passion made me look it up and get surprised that my favorite Signal boxes were made by their organization!

Tell us about yourself, where did you grow up / how did you find yourself in Seattle?

I am Arwa Alghamdi, a Saudi 24 year old artist. I spent my entire life in my hometown Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, then my husband got funded by the Saudi government to study abroad. So he chose Seattle because of University of Washington and I didn’t mind it!

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?

Every month that passes I try to ask myself what did I achieve, improve, or even failed. I always try not to remain still and change. Because I am also an extrovert, feedback is my fuel. It helps me improve and think more creatively.

Where do you get your inspiration from as a photographer/ blogger?

Mainly from nature and surroundings, and my husband @Fahda_aldaajani. He is an award-winner photographer and he has a great eye that helps me think out of the box all the time. Naji Al-Ali, in addition to so many awesome artists i’m following on Instagram: @Majachocolat, @Fatmaalkuwaricakes, and @Jacob.

In your opinion, what are some ways that public art helps create a sense of community?

I have always believed that public art has been underestimated over years. It’s power to speak and move feelings is incredible. People nowadays have finally realised that and gave it the attention it needs, and it resulted in people reaching levels they have never reached before of open mindedness and abilities to coexist with differences. I remember that huge smile on my face when I saw a cute mural in NYC and it has a woman who wears Hijab. When arts speak of issues that matters to it’s community members that they can relate to, it will make everyone feel welcome, appreciated, and respected.

What projects are you working on these days?

Documenting all of the Urban ArtWorks murals, beside creating my blog and social media content. Baking, photography, interior design are some areas that I try to cover in my journey.

Did you come from a creative family?

I have a brother who is brilliant in Arabic Calligraphy, and a sister who likes skitching, but I am the only one who took art as a profession.

So in 10 years you want to be…?

A mom, an entrepreneur, teacher, gardener, traveler, and a art consultant.

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