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Dubai's Art Festival enters its 8th year in 2014, with the promise exhibitions of stunning works of art from around 75 acclaimed global galleries.
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Some idea of the scale of interest in the Festival can be gleaned from the 2013 numbers - Art Dubai played host to around 25000 visitors, plus over 70 international museum groups, and showed work from 75 galleries prepared in 30 different countries of the world. This compares well with the visitor numbers from the very first festival, where 6000 visitors got to see works from 'just' 40 galleries.
Like many of Dubai's festivals and developments, its roots lie under the patronage of the Ruler Of Dubai - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The 2014 Dubai Art Festival
For its 8th year,Art Dubai takes place from March 19th to March 22nd at Madinat Jumeirah. For the first two days, access is by invite only. Doors open to the general public at the weekend. The galleries involved are offering over 80 exhibitions combined and these are focused on three different programs:
Of these, the contemporary gallery traditionally is the biggest and remains so with representation from more than 70 galleries. Returning galleries include a number of well known parties including Grey Noise from Dubai, and Victoria Miro from London. Those exhibiting for the first time include Ota Fine Arts of Tokyo, Marisa Newman Projects and Tyler Rollins both of New York, and Marian Goodman originating from New York and Paris.
The marker program will feature works from artists originating from the Caucasus and Central Asia regions, and these are expected to cause a stir with art fans.
From a regional perspective Europe and the Middle East will make up two thirds of the exhibitors, with other regions making up the remaining third.
Outside The Festival Galleries
The galleries themselves form the main part of the festival, but in addition there's an extensive programme which includes commissioned projects and performances, radio and film programmes, new works, and exhibitions by winners of the annual The Abraaj Group Art Prize and the critically acclaimed Global Art Forum.
The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is a focal partner in Art Dubai, and actively takes part in supporting the year-round education programme which runs in conjunction with the Festival. During each year they run an Artists in Residence programme where five artists and a curator receive invitations to visit and work in Dubai (in Al Fahidi) for 3 months to prepare work for the Art Festival.
The Art Dubai Festival has been running now for 8 years, and offers a good marker for the successful expansion of Dubai's art scene over that period. It acts as a focal point for the month long Dubai Art Season which runs from mid March to mid April.
In fact, the Festival takes the honour of being recognized as the foremost international art fair in the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa regions combined. If you're an art lover, or an acclaimed artist with work to exhibit, the Dubai Art Festival is the one you want to be at.
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