Abu Dhabi Art 2018: Open Call for Emirati Artists For Year Of Zayed

Abu Dhabi Art 2018: Open Call for Emirati Artists For Year Of Zayed

Event Info

4th Jul 2018 - 2nd Sep 2018,
12:00 am-11:55 pm
Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation

Contact Info

02 333 6400
Contact Form


Open Call for Emirati Artists for

The Year of Zayed

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation
in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Art Fair


Open Call for Submissions

In celebration of The Year of Zayed, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) has announced an open call welcoming all Emirati visual artists to submit artwork inspired by the four core values of His Highness Sheikh Zayed; Wisdom, Respect, Sustainability, and Human Development. Honoring the legacy of our Nation’s Founding Father, ADMAF encourages visual artists to embrace contemporary practices, to think abstractly, and to develop work that is innovative and unexpected.

Awarding Excellence

Awarding excellence remains central to ADMAF’s vision for the development of arts and culture on both local and international platforms.  Aligning with this vision, The Year of Zayed open call for submissions will result in the selection of four outstanding artworks to be presented within the ADMAF Pavilion at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Art Fair, held November 14-17 in Manarat Al Saadiyat.
Bringing together art patrons from all over the world, Abu Dhabi Art is a platform by which selected artists will have the opportunity to engage with an international audience of collectors, curators and gallerists.


Open to all Emirati Nationals, artists are invited to participate in one of two ways:

1. Submit an existing artwork that embodies and directly relates to one of the four core values.  If selected, this artwork would be loaned for the duration of Abu Dhabi Art.

2. Create a proposal for a newly commissioned artwork inspired by one of the core values. This work and the copyright will be owned by ADMAF and become a permanent part of the ADMAF Art Collection.


Themes in Focus


By virtue of his words, actions, foresight and judgment, Sheikh Zayed was widely recognized as a wise and visionary leader and an inspirational man. He not only imagined a better future for his people, but also had the wisdom and determination to make that ambitious vision a reality against all odds.

Amidst the current technological revolution, many contemporary artists have chosen to address the influence of this overwhelming influx of information on society through their practice.  How does an artist define wisdom in 2018?  How can artwork influence wise decisions that affect the future?


Throughout his life, Sheikh Zayed treated people with the utmost respect regardless of nationality, gender, status or religion. As the UAE's President, he advocated strongly for the rights of women, highly valued the role of expatriates in building the UAE, and ultimately created the vibrant, diverse and cosmopolitan society that exists in the UAE today.

Thanks to the vision of Sheikh Zayed, the UAE embraces one of the most culturally diverse populations in the world.  How has this community influenced the experience of artists in the UAE?


From an early age, Sheikh Zayed had already established a deep personal connection with the desert and sea ecologies of Abu Dhabi.  His lifelong commitment to sustainability became a hallmark of his Presidency, and one that continues to drive the UAE to meeting the world’s greatest environmental challenges, such as; invasive species, land degradation, desertification and issues that pose an environmental threat to the UAE and beyond.

What are current environmental challenges facing the world today?  How can artists bring attention to these issues in a meaningful, thought-provoking manner?

Human Development

Sheikh Zayed believed in investing in people’s welfare, authorizing significant investments in healthcare and education facilities that rapidly transformed the quality of life enjoyed by people in the UAE. A global humanitarian, he also provided significant assistance to a diverse range of people and countries in need around the world.

How can artists bring people together through the work they produce?  How can art become an educational tool for those who are exposed to it?

Submission Requirements

  • A completed application form together with images or sketches of the proposed commission or loaned artwork should be emailed to
  • Please note: Four artworks will be selected and displayed together in a booth that is roughly 6m x 4m x 3m.  Keep this in mind regarding the size of your artwork submission.
  • All images should be high resolution, in JPEG or Tiff format.
  • Submissions over 10MB should be sent to the above email via WeTransfer, Dropbox, or Google Drive links.

General Criteria, Terms and Conditions

  • Once an application is selected, costs for crating, transportation, insurance, installation and de-installation for the Abu Dhabi Art Pavilion of the selected work will be carried by ADMAF.
  • The artist will be asked to participate at the Abu Dhabi Art Fair opening and be available for media requests.
  • Artists submitting their commission proposals and loan offers are requested to fill in the application form, providing more details on themselves and their loaned artworks/commission proposals.


  • The deadline for submissions is Sunday, September 2nd, 2018.
  • Successful artists will be informed after Sunday, September 30th, 2018.
  • Commissioned and loaned artworks must be completed and delivered for Thursday, November 1st, 2018.

Additional information: