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Art Week canvas to portray humanitarian causes

Events like Art Dubai, Design Days Dubai and SIKKA will raise funds for displaced people

Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News
Cyril Zammit, Antonia Carver, Khalil Abdul Wahid during theArt Week launch at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai yesterday.
Gulf News

Dubai: Art Week 2013 will help raise awareness and funds for displaced families throughout the Arab World, especially those who have been affected by the situation in Syria, it was announced on Monday.

Activities and events for Art Week 2013, which were revealed yesterday, feature a number of new initiatives, partnerships and events, including working with the United Nations’s World Food Programme (WFP).

Antonia Carver, director of Art Dubai, said that the idea is to raise awareness and funds throughout the fair, catalogue and food sales being just two aspects.

“It’s really about community activity, rather than doing it as a one-off charity event with the VVIPs, we decided to appeal to the community at large coming to the fair and really integrate that kind of aspect throughout,” Antonia said. She added that more details will be announced in the near future.

Art week is the umbrella programme that includes several art events that appeal to a great variety of art enthusiasts. It includes Art Dubai, Design Days Dubai and SIKKA, events of which will run from March 14-24 across different locations.

Art Dubai, which is in its seventh edition this year, will be held from March 20-23 at Madinat Jumeirah. Antonia said that, this year, Art Dubai is hosting 75 different galleries from 29 countries, with almost 500 artists, Antonia said.

She added that there is an estimated $40 million (Dh146.88 million) worth of art at the latest edition of Art Dubai. This year the focus of the ‘Marker programme’, a set of curated concept stands located in the fair’s main gallery halls, is West African artists and art. It is curated by Lagos-based Bisi Silva and focuses on the evolving nature of cities in West Africa and the way it impacts society.

Art Dubai will also be collaborating with the Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award for the first time, and there will be an exhibition of the winning photographs.

Art Dubai Projects, which is a non-profit programme of new works and performances will include a new series of children’s programmes. “We are very proud to be launching a new series of children programmes, the Shaikha Manal’s Little Artists, which is an expanded programme of what we have presented before,” Antonia said.

Another new educational programme is Campus Art Dubai, which is run in partnership with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. It started in January and will run until June. It is a series of intensive courses for artists and curators living and working in the UAE. Twenty artists and 20 curators were selected following an open call announced last December.

Campus Art also includes monthly evening seminars that are open to the public.

The Arts Projects also includes the Artists-in-Residence Dubai, which is an annual residency programme that commissions six upcoming UAE-based artists and a curator to create special work in Dubai.

The artworks are created and exhibited in studios in Dubai’s creek side Al Fahidi Historical Neignourhood — previously known as Al Bastakiya. The artists started working on their projects on January 7. The open studio exhibition where their art works can be viewed will be held parallel to SIKKA from March 14-24. SIKKA is the artist-led fair of commissioned work in the heart of Dubai.