GEM contests


GEM’s Mural Art Contest (GEMMA) is another one of our organisation’s annual community engagement and outreach projects in the public domain to inspire emerging young artists. GEMMA entrants are encouraged to create mural art with meaning to inspire others to see art for purpose! In 2020, GEMMA was led by ‘Gem’ Rutaba Syed, who with the Sydney-based GEM Operations Team engaged young artists throughout Pakistan to submit mural artworks – painted, pasted, or projected onto an indoor wall – to channel their energy into something creative as one way to address the anxiety experienced during Covid lockdown. This initiative was an extension of our work with young artists in Karachi for GEMAH-KB19, supported by the Karachi Biennale Trust

Throughout GEMMA in 2020, it was a fantastic few months seeing the impact that the contest had on young people abroad, providing them hope and artistic inspiration. The GEMMA contestants all spoke to the power of how their self-expression, through making mural art, created more uplifting and connective emotions for themselves and those around them.

And their murals were so inspiring, creative, and just downright awesome (see below)!


Our panel of GEMMA international art judges were:

  1. Abdul Jabbar Gull, Pakistani Sculptor and Artist
  2. Dr Tom Cochrane, Australian Philosopher of Aesthetics at Flinders University
  3. Neil Uchong, Pakistani Graffiti Artist
  4. Atteqa Malik, Chair of Global Outreach at Karachi Biennale Trust
  5. Angé Weinrabe, Founding Director of GEM Connect

Our panel of judges were absolutely blown away by the artists’ initiative, inspiration, impact, creative expression, and just how stunning the murals are! The judges made a point of highlighting the strong connection between art and feeling in these pieces.