Sharjah Art Foundation has initiated Forsa School; a new learning program for UAE-based artists, creatives and cultural practitioners. Through a schedule of public seminars, private sessions and a one-on-one mentorship course, Forsa School focuses on the practical skills and professional knowledge that artists need to navigate the UAE’s art industry. The program, organized in collaboration with Naqd, runs from 7 November 2020 to 13 February 2021.
Covering essential topics for artists’ professional development, Forsa School offers artists in-depth instruction and close guidance from key industry professionals in a number of areas, including financing, project planning, licensing, intellectual property, marketing, pricing and communication. The program will also cover interpersonal issues such as overcoming artistic blocks, sustaining a long-term art practice and working closely with clients, galleries and art institutions. The program aims to support the development of cultural and artistic production by addressing the professional challenges faced by local artists and presenting solutions and best practices. Participants will also have an opportunity to meet program tutors for private sessions tailored to their individual needs.
Another primary objective of Forsa School is to produce detailed reports that will be compiled throughout the program To be shared with other cultural institutions and organizations, the reports will focus on the needs and requirements of the local art community, including findings and data gathered through interactions with Forsa School participants and tutors. The reports will be published periodically as a critical resource for artists, institutions and the public about developments in contemporary art in the UAE.
Running both online and on-site at Sharjah Art Foundation venues, the program will include occasional off-site visits to studios in Sharjah and other emirates. A number of public seminars will be live-streamed online for general audiences.
Forsa School is part of the Sharjah Art Foundation Learning Program which runs year-round workshops, courses and other activities related to contemporary art that are suitable for children, families, youth and art enthusiasts of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Free to attend, the learning opportunities offered by the Foundation encourage the creative and artistic development of the UAE community.
The programme is free and open to UAE-based artists and art practitioners over 21 years of age.
Naqd Critique is a platform for artist-led critique sessions focused on contemporary art practices, artists, curators, researchers, academics gallerists and members of the community who are invited to join and engage in critique sessions. Naqd was created to provide feedback and constructive criticism for artists and creatives in order to benefit their growth and development.
Forsa, which means ‘opportunity’ in Arabic, is a platform launched in reaction to the impact COVID-19 has had on creative practitioners who now find themselves with cancelled projects and little or no income. The platform has collected data through a submission form for vulnerable freelancers with the aim of compiling the bios, portfolios and CVs of these talented professionals in hopes of securing opportunities, commissions, projects and grants for them.
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