. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai resident Nemar Sencil has emerged as the Grand Prize Winner in Curtin University Dubai’s flagship event held to promote the arts. This year, the competition was held virtually and received over 2,000 inquiries and submissions from across the region.

The competition followed the theme ‘The New Normal’ and was open to all ages with three participation categories: General Public, High School, and University.

“The inspiration for my artwork rose from my very own experience with the virus. I am a Covid-19 survivor and tested positive three months ago. This competition gave me a window to express my feelings and emotions in a creative way because I know how difficult the current situation is for everyone out there. The world is facing a lot of hardships right now and as an artist, I use my art to heal and recover during these stressful times," Nemar Sencil, winner of the event. 

"My participation and win at this competition has had a great impact on me as out of a thousand contestants, the judges chose my work as the best overall submission. However, it is not about winning; it is about how you can share your thoughts through art, speak to those around you, inspire them, and remind them to be safe. And most of all to support others and show them that there is hope after all.” 

Nemar was joined by Aliyah Shaikh and Ma Althea Retig, who were the first and second runners up in the General Public category. The university participation category awarded Allyssa Gomez from the Canadian University Dubai as the winner while Anil Lokhande from the Manipal Academy of Higher Education Dubai and Irine Aju from the American University of Sharjah were awarded 1st and 2nd place.

From the high school participation category, Akhilesh Sinha from the Dubai American Academy secured the winning position along with Mohammad Sandila from the Dubai English Speaking College and Nadine Moussa from the Greenfield International School who obtained the 1st and 2nd runner up titles, respectively.

Submissions were reviewed and scored through three rigorous rounds by a panel of internal and external judges, including international Solo Artist, Zahra Goulamhoussen.

“What stood out for me among all the pieces, was that there were so many creators and artists who picked 'Hope' as the subject for their 'New Normal'. I’m thankful for the opportunity to view these beautiful works and for making me a part of this amazing event,” said Zahra Goulamhoussen.

All winners will be receiving scholarships, e-vouchers, and certificates. Sencil will receive a range of prizes, including Dh3000 in e-vouchers and a 75% artist’s scholarship to study at Curtin University Dubai.

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