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Press release


Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo During The Nationals' Gallery Press Conference 3rd Nov 2010



Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation today announced the launch of a unique new initiative to support Emirati art.  The Nationals Gallery is a dedicated resource which will offer advice and funding to new and established Emirati artists, as well as providing platforms for them to showcase their work.  It will also maintain the largest database available of information about the artists, a resource which includes biographies, resumés, statements, publications and works, as well as information on arts services available in the UAE.

The Nationals Gallery aims to become a key catalyst in the development of home-grown talent across the UAE.  It will be the first stop for Emirati artists seeking to widen their exposure and for international galleries, dealers and collectors interested in their art.

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting the development of contemporary artistic expression in the United Arab Emirates. It is formally embarking on this specific initiative which is the result of 14 years of work  with the UAE’s arts community.  The project will be launched at this week’s Abu Dhabi Art, being held at the Emirates Palace Hotel from 3 to 7 November.

A panel discussion, “Voices of Emirati Art”, will be held at the Abu Dhabi Art, on Saturday 6 November at 5.30pm, to mark the launch of the initiative.  The panel will include local artists Jalal Luqman and Ebtissam Abdel Aziz, while many other artists who have signed up to The Nationals Gallery are expected to participate.

The Nationals Gallery was announced today at a press conference at the Emirates Palace Hotel, hosted by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation’s founder, Mrs Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, and leading Emirati artists who have already joined the initiative. 


Mrs Kanoo said The Nationals Gallery was a long term project for the team at Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation:

“Over the last 14 years, our Foundation has worked tirelessly to advance classical music, the arts, education, culture, and creativity among the nationals and residents of Abu Dhabi.

“We have been proud to welcome many of the world’s greatest performers and artists to Abu Dhabi during that time.  But we always knew that this sharing of creativity, of artistic excellence and of passion for creation, could not only be a one-way street.  We have therefore always put community and educational initiatives at the heart of our work.

“Today, we take the next important step on that journey, launching a platform that will bring together the world’s visual arts community with the UAE’s artists.  It is our profound wish that in doing so we put Abu Dhabi on the map, not just as a proud and enthusiastic host to world-renowned artists but as a cradle of creativity in its own right.

“Already, we have many of the nation’s finest artists on board with The Nationals Gallery and we have already been able to see results from our role as a facilitator for them.  With today’s launch we say to all within the national arts community: join us!  Join us on a journey to international recognition; join us on a journey to artistic excellence.”

Artists throughout the UAE welcomed the launch of The Nationals Gallery.

Jalal Luqman said it provided a fantastic springboard for local artists:  “The National's Gallery will finally take us - the artists of the Emirates - out of the shadows and into the history books."

Ebtissam Abdel Aziz added: “It’s about building our confidence and opening our eyes to opportunities we never knew existed.”

 Sumayyah Al Suwaidi said that local artists played an important role in the cultural life of the nation: “Emirati artists tell the story of progression by this country and its people."

Finally, Matar bin Lahej said that the timing of The Nationals Gallery was auspicious:  "The will of the Emirati arts community has prevailed. Now, it is time for us to make our mark on the world."

The Nationals’ Gallery’s resources include:

Archive: An up-to-date resource of biographies, resumes, statements publications, and works by Emirati artists as well as information on arts services available in the United Arab Emirates.

Funding: A fund dedicated to providing financial support to emerging and established Emirati arts practitioners who wish to undertake postgraduate studies, independent research, exhibitions or installations.



Advice: One-to-one sessions with the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation to help Emirati artists gain advice, information and contacts on the national, regional and international contemporary arts scenes.

Platform: The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation creates opportunities for Emirati artists to network, debate and exhibit.  Through its national and international partnerships, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation will identify possibilities for solo or collective shows, both in the UAE and further afield.



During the Nationals' Gallery Press Conference

Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, ADMAF founder with the artists