Abu Dhabi Art 2019 Beyond Emerging Artist, Rawdha Al Ketbi-1630831894613
An artwork by Rawdha Al Ketbi. Abu Dhabi Art has launched a new initiative to support the Emirati arts scene in the UAE. Image Credit: Cedric Riberio

Abu Dhabi Art has announced an initiative that aims to support the art eco-system in the UAE, which will launch at the 13th edition of the Abu Dhabi Art Fair that will run from November 17-21.

The newly formed Friends of Abu Dhabi Art has launched with an inaugural group of more than 40 dedicated art enthusiasts who will support Abu Dhabi Art’s ‘Beyond: Emerging Artists’ initiative, curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, founders of Art Reoriented, a multidisciplinary curatorial platform.

“We are hugely grateful to our Friends of Abu Dhabi Art members, who will play an integral role in supporting emerging artists from the UAE this year and engaging the wider public with their work,” said Dyala Nusseibeh, Director, Abu Dhabi Art, in a statement, adding: “As a group of cultural philanthropists brought together by a shared desire to support art in the Emirates, Friends of Abu Dhabi Art will strengthen and enhance our existing ‘Beyond: Emerging Artists’ programme this year in exciting new ways.”

Anyone looking to actively support artists and the art ecosystem in the UAE can apply to join the initiative via the webpage as well. All members are required to pay an annual fee for membership, with funds raised enabling the commissioning of new art works through Abu Dhabi Art.

“Friends of Abu Dhabi Art is not limited to financial support. It is an endeavour to encourage independent activity by community members for the benefit of the local art ecosystem. There is a need for the art and culture sector globally to find sustainable ways to recover and become more adaptable in a post-pandemic era,” Nadia Sehweil, Co-Head of Friends of Abu Dhabi Art and CEO of Bodytree Wellness added.

Benefits of membership include opportunities to attend private talks by appointed curators and artists, as well as artist studio visits and events, private tours at the Abu Dhabi Art Fair in November and the commissioning of new work in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Art announced earlier this month that Bardaouil and Fellrath will commission three new works by emerging UAE-based artists: Hashel Al Lamki, Maitha Abdalla and Christopher Benton, for Beyond: Emerging Artists, which will be showcased at the fair in November.

The fair’s upcoming edition will open to the public at Manarat Al Saadiyat. Strict precautionary and hygiene measures will be enforced at Abu Dhabi Art 2021 to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants and visitors. Details of these measures will be announced in due course.