May 15, 2008 - The Abraaj Group Art Prize - Application Deadline Set for Mid-June
May 15, 2008

Application Deadline Set for Mid-June

Application Deadline for 1 Million USD
Abraaj Capital Art Prize Set for Mid-June

Artists and curators from MENASA region vie to create innovative projects for Art Dubai 2009

On the heels of a highly successful Art Dubai 2008, international art curators are submitting applications to work with artists from the emerging art centers of MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) to participate in the first annual Abraaj Capital Art Prize competition. The formal application deadline is 15
June 2008.

The Abraaj Capital art prize – offering the world’s largest art competition endowment worth a total of 1 million USD – is designed to create a viable platform for individual artists who are revered in their local communities but lack international critical and commercial exposure. In the first year, three artists will be selected to work alongside international curators to hone their talent, and will have an opportunity to widen their international reputation and network by unveiling their projects at Art Dubai 2009. Displaying their work at the Middle East’s largest modern and contemporary art fair will raise the curtain on their talent, affording finalists a
global platform.

“Art Dubai has been instrumental in focusing international attention on art being produced in the wider MENASA region; the Abraaj Capital Art Prize aims to empower the potential of emerging artists from these markets by affording them an international platform. The Abraaj Capital Art Prize is an exceptional opportunity for artists to be able to realize their ambitions,” said Savita Apte, Chair of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize committee and director of Art Dubai.

“The competition aims to expand opportunities for winning artists by providing them with the tools necessary to become sustainable contributors to the regional and global art stage by pairing them with internationally-renowned curators who will help take their art to the next level,” said Apte.

The Abraaj Art Prize includes a selection committee comprised of renowned curators, art fair directors, collectors, publishers and designers. The winning artists will create their projects in time for Art Dubai 2009
in March.

“The MENASA region is going through a transformational period, especially from an economic standpoint. By fostering artists from the region through this new art prize, Abraaj Capital is empowering artists to play their part in the renaissance of our societies and cultural heritage,” explained Frederic Sicre, Executive Director of Abraaj Capital.

“Well-functioning societies are not built only on net profit margins, indeed, tolerance, mutual respect, community involvement and free flow of ideas are essential components in addition to economic growth and the arts provide a privileged medium to foster such things,” Sicre added.

Criteria to participate in the Abraaj Capital Art Prize:

• Interested applicants must come from an emerging art center, which is defined as any artistic environment in which an individual artist lacks commercial and critical opportunities to further their career.
• Applications may only be submitted by curators and must be signed by both participants, and must be received no later than 5:00pm on June 15, 2008.
• Curators may come from any nationality and age bracket, and may submit a proposal for collaboration with an artist from an emerging art center.
• Curators must submit a biography, curriculum of past exhibitions and three written articles.
• Curators must submit a short essay on the work of the artist they are collaborating with in the competition.
• Applications should be submitted at

For press enquiries please contact:
Eileen Wallis/Jumana Bississo at The Portsmouth Group PO Box 71765, Dubai, UAE
T: 009 714-3693575

Abraaj Capital Art Prize

The Abraaj Group Art Prize
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