Maya El Khalil is an independent curator based in Oxford, UK.
As founding director of contemporary Athr Gallery in Jeddah from 2009-2016, she pioneered exhibition approaches and cultural exchange in the absence of local public art institutions. For the last decade, she has continued to work locally, regionally and internationally with artists, collectors and institutions to develop the identity and ideas that have defined the contemporary art scene in Saudi Arabia.
El Khalil is currently collaborating with international institutions on multidisciplinary exhibitions addressing the environmental and climate emergency. Recently curated exhibitions include The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen at Athr Gallery, Jeddah (2018); Nasser Al Salem solo show Amma Baad at the Delfina Foundation, London (2019) and Casa Arabe, Madrid (2019) and I Love You, Urgently, the 7th Edition of 21,39 Jeddah Arts (2020).
She lectures regularly at reputable academic institutions and programmes, has contributed to various major publications and has been appointed to numerous panels and advisory boards. She presently provides expert appraisal for museum collections in the Gulf and is advisor for international leading consultancies on visual art, museum and collection strategy.
El Khalil holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the American University of Beirut. She is currently enrolled in an MA Programme in Art and Politics at Goldsmiths University.