Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation launches 'The Nationals' Gallery'

Press release
Published December 26th, 2010 - 04:10 GMT
Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation’s founder
Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation’s founder

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation today announced the launch of a unique new initiative to support Emirati art. The Nationals' Gallery is a dedicated resource which will offer advice and funding to new and established Emirati artists, as well as providing platforms for them to showcase their work. It will also maintain the largest database available of information about the artists, a resource which includes biographies, resumés, statements, publications and works, as well as information on arts services available in the UAE.

The Nationals' Gallery aims to become a key catalyst in the development of home-grown talent across the UAE. It will be the first stop for Emirati artists seeking to widen their exposure and for international galleries, dealers and collectors interested in their art.

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting the development of contemporary artistic expression in the United Arab Emirates. It is formally embarking on this specific initiative which is the result of 14 years of work with the UAE's arts community. The project will be launched at this week's Abu Dhabi Art, being held at the Emirates Palace Hotel from 3 to 7 November.

A panel discussion, "Voices of Emirati Art", will be held at the Abu Dhabi Art, on Saturday 6 November at 5.30pm, to mark the launch of the initiative. The panel will include local artists Jalal Luqman and Ebtissam Abdel Aziz, while many other artists who have signed up to The Nationals Gallery are expected to participate.

The Nationals' Gallery was announced today at a press conference at the Emirates Palace Hotel, hosted by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation's founder, Mrs Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, and leading Emirati artists who have already joined the initiative.

Mrs Kanoo said The Nationals' Gallery was a long term project for the team at Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation:

"Over the last 14 years, our Foundation has worked tirelessly to advance classical music, the arts, education, culture, and creativity among the nationals and residents of Abu Dhabi.

"We have been proud to welcome many of the world's greatest performers and artists to Abu Dhabi during that time. But we always knew that this sharing of creativity, of artistic excellence and of passion for creation, could not only be a one-way street. We have therefore always put community and educational initiatives at the heart of our work.

"Today, we take the next important step on that journey, launching a platform that will bring together the world's visual arts community with the UAE's artists. It is our profound wish that in doing so we put Abu Dhabi on the map, not just as a proud and enthusiastic host to world-renowned artists but as a cradle of creativity in its own right.

"Already, we have many of the nation's finest artists on board with The Nationals Gallery and we have already been able to see results from our role as a facilitator for them. With today's launch we say to all within the national arts community: join us! Join us on a journey to international recognition; join us on a journey to artistic excellence."

Artists throughout the UAE welcomed the launch of The Nationals' Gallery.

Jalal Luqman said it provided a fantastic springboard for local artists: "The National's Gallery will finally take us - the artists of the Emirates - out of the shadows and into the history books. "

Ebtissam Abdel Aziz added: "It's about building our confidence and opening our eyes to opportunities we never knew existed."

Sumayyah Al Suwaidi said that local artists played an important role in the cultural life of the nation: "Emirati artists tell the story of progression by this country and its people."

Karima Al Shoumaly said that it was about time the world took notice of the Emirati artists " as well as of my work personally, because I believe that getting to know my art is part of getting to know my country"

Finally, Matar bin Lahej said that the timing of The Nationals' Gallery was auspicious: "The will of the Emirati arts community has prevailed. Now, it is time for us to make our mark on the world."

The Nationals' Gallery's resources include:

Archive: An up-to-date resource of biographies, resumes, statements publications, and works by Emirati artists as well as information on arts services available in the United Arab Emirates.

Funding: A fund dedicated to providing financial support to emerging and established Emirati arts practitioners who wish to undertake postgraduate studies, independent research, exhibitions or installations.

Advice: One-to-one sessions with the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation to help Emirati artists gain advice, information and contacts on the national, regional and international contemporary arts scenes.

Platform: The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation creates opportunities for Emirati artists to network, debate and exhibit. Through its national and international partnerships, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation will identify possibilities for solo or collective shows, both in the UAE and further afield. 

Background Information

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation

Through arts education, community arts and special projects, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) has been nurturing creativity across the UAE for more than two decades. Since its establishment by Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo in 1996, it has been at the forefront of the UAE’s arts sector, inspiring young people, the public and artists, enabling creative expression through a wide range of programmes and projects. By bringing together audiences and institutions, the Foundation has helped embed arts and culture in the heart of the nation.

It seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and the advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision, motivated by the belief that culture is the key that unlocks a nation’s creativity and the language that transcends borders. Culture is the anchor that unites a nation and ADMAF undertakes a broad range of initiatives and events each year to bring together diverse audiences in the UAE and internationally. As well as fostering close communities and cross-cultural dialogues, the Foundation also recognises the fundamental right for every person, regardless of age or ability, to access, understand and appreciate cultural expression.

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