Beirut’s storied “Rose House”, which sits on a rare green hill overlooking the Mediterranean, will be open to the public for the first time. The artist Tom Young will be showcasing his work and hosting a series of events beginning next week. He sent me these pictures:
Young hopes to shed light on the 19th century building, which he feared would be destroyed after learning that its long term tenant of 50 years, Fayza El Khazen, had been asked to leave. So he got in touch with the new owners and convinced them to allow an exhibit, featuring musical, theatrical, film events and activities for children, in addition to some 40 of his painted pieces.
Young will also be sharing what he has learned about the history of the home during his two month artist residency there, particularly its importance as a cultural meeting place during the 1960s.
“I’ve been exploring the house’s context in the city, drawing inspiration from the forest of towers which surround it, and nearby landmarks such as the old lighthouse and Luna Park,” Young said an email. “These places are anchors in the city’s soul.”
Here’s a video Young has made about the project:
And here are some of the paintings that will be on display:
Young developed a similar exhibition last year at another abandoned mansion in the Gemmayze neighborhood known as Villa Paradiso. The hope is that art can help us celebrate, remember and perhaps even save some of these buildings, which are being rapidly destroyed across the city to make way for multimillion dollar towers only the wealthiest can afford. But such efforts can only succeed if concerned citizens attend in large numbers to make their voices heard. So spread the word and see you there!
All photos courtesy Tom Young