Under the patronage of UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Art Dubai officially opened today with the most extensive contemporary art event to be held in the Middle East. Open to the public from Thursday, 17 March until Saturday, 20 March, Art Dubai brings together artists, gallerists, curators and collectors from around the world to experience over 80 separate exhibitions presented by leading international galleries and institutions and featuring more than 500 artists, including solo exhibitions, installations, performances, talks and screenings.
Art Dubai’s organisers are anticipating a substantial increase in its 2009 attendance figure of more than 14,000 visitors, reflecting the growing enthusiasm in the arts from all sectors of the local community, as well as a worldwide international following and a programme that is designed to appeal equally to the first time visitor as well as the seasoned art professional.
“Art Dubai is the tangible representation of the value that cultural investment and development bring to emerging economies such as Dubai. From the economic benefits of cultural tourism that Art Dubai delivers to the perception of the region that is taken away by the scores of regional and international visitors, to the community benefits that Art Dubai provides as an educational and family-centric platform, Art Dubai 2010 is a Middle East-born success story that appeals to, informs and entertains the broadest demographic range,” said Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor, DIFC.
Amongst the highlights of Art Dubai’s comprehensive programme of events:
• The works of more than 500 artists represented by more than 70 regional and international art galleries from China to Chile, Australia to USA, and galleries throughout the Middle East.
• More than 25 solo exhibitions, installations, and special projects, including the unveiling of the 2010 Abraaj Capital Art Prize, the world’s most generous art prize.
• Rub shoulders with the leading protagonists and commentators of the art world at the Global Art Forum, with four days of talks, presentations and panel discussions supported by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).
• Specially-commissioned artworks and video installations for the Art Park curated by Bidoun Projects by UAE national, Iranian and American artists, among others, with the support of the Emirates Foundation.
• Community and family-orientated programming including graffiti workshops and large-scale collaborative painting with START, the non-profit initiative that links child development with arts education.
“For four days, Art Dubai showcases the very best of what the Middle East and wider global market have to offer in terms of contemporary art – it is a snapshot of the growing importance of the region as an arts hub and a key international platform for artists, curators, galleries and for collectors to discover the rising stars of tomorrow’s art world” said John Martin, Director and Co-Founder of Art Dubai. “In our fourth year, we have deliberately chosen a programming mix that will present an exciting diversity of contemporary art from around the world to appeal to new audiences whilst stimulating a creative environment and new discoveries for experienced art professionals.”