Like a ballgown at an ordinary Sunday lunch, the contemporary design gallery Le Loft 271 sticks out from the humble, exhaust-stained shops that line Antelias’ narrow main road.

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This art space is the latest cultural hub bringing together artists of all backgrounds to showcase their talents. The event venue hosts exhibitions for designers, artists, photographers, sculptors, painters and the like in an informal and delightful setup. Be on the lookout for both local and international artists breaking out into the art scene.

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The glass-walled showroom opened for business – and perusing – last week as an eclectic space for rising and established designers of anything from sneaker sculptures to pop-art poufs and sleek, modern side-tables. It has since received many thanks from neighbors and residents of Beirut’s northern suburbs, happy to have an independent modern gallery of their very own.

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“We had more than 600 people come to the opening. Many people in the neighborhood told us they’re happy we opened here instead of Beirut,” says one of three directors, Anne-Marie Romanos. She runs the new design space together with Roula Mansour and Carla Salem.

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Indeed the gallery offers something that the local shops, lined by Chinese imports, and massive chain stores in nearby Jal al-Dib do not – one-of-a-kind, upmarket items created by Lebanese talent.

The three opened the gallery with a dozen showcasing designers, including famous fashion designer Amal Azhari, rising mixed-media artist Selim Attieh, and well-known sculpture-product design couple Ziad and Sibylle Tamer Abillama.

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The three directors started exclusively with Lebanese participants, but aim to branch out to designers from abroad. They also mean to keep the gallery as a space that combines both well-established and aspiring talent.

 

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