Bringing together Dubai’s creative industries and international artists and designers, Dubai Art Week is an exciting cultural event for both art lovers and Dubai residents and visitors. This is the largest and most diverse platform for arts and culture in the region, which launched on Saturday and will continue through March 24 with a wide range of events and initiatives. Art Week 2015 is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Emaar Properties and is aiming to engage not only wealthy collectors, but also regular visitors with a taste for the beautiful. And here are the highlights of this year’s edition:
SIKKA 2015, 14th – 24th March
In its fifth year, the Dubai Culture-run SIKKA Art Fair is dedicated to showing the latest work of Dubai and UAE-based artists. It opened on Saturday at the Al Fahidi Historical neighborhood in Bur Dubai. The fair features fifty Emirati and UAE-based artists, two art initiatives, and three collectives, and it covers visual arts projects, music, live performance, interactive installations, workshops, and many others. There are plenty of things to do during the event, whether you are art collectors or just enthusiasts, as there are calligraphy shows, art workshops, poetry evenings, and discussions on animation, gypsum carving, filmmaking workshops, a drama workshop, and a box painting installation.
Design Days Dubai, 16th – 20th March
Unlike SIKKA, which is a rather diverse, open fair for everyone interested in arts and culture, Design Days Dubai is an annual event, focused on contemporary and collectable design pieces. This is the only dedicated event to high-end product and furniture design in Asia and the Middle East. This year, it presents 44 exhibitors – local and international, emerging and established, from 20 different countries. Held at The Venue on Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown, Design Days Dubai hosts exclusive collections of limited-edition and collectable works. These include design furniture, large-scale installations, sculptures, world premieres, and so on. The contemporary gallery-like fair will also feature a large number of discussions and talks. The fair is open every day to the public from 16.00 pm. to 19.00 pm.
Art Dubai, 18th – 21st March
This is a 4-day art fair at the Madinat Jumeirah that presents more than 100 galleries from 40 countries and an extensive programme of art exhibitions, educational workshops, commissioned projects, curators’ and artists’ residencies, film and radio programmes, and educational initiatives for children in the Campus Art Dubai. There will be also an exhibition of works by the winners of The Abraaj Group Art prize and the Global Art Forum. Exhibitions during Art Dubai are presented across three programmes – contemporary, modern, and marker. While the Contemporary halls feature 71 galleries and ambitious solo shows, the Modern halls showcase Middle Eastern, African, and South Asian artists that were influential in the 20th century, between the 1940s and 1980s. The Marker includes a curated selection of works by Latin American artists.
Global Art Forum, 18th March
This is the ninth edition of the forum and this year the theme is technology and its impact on contemporary art and culture. Attracting a range of speakers from various fields such as art, media, design, and literature, the forum will discuss how technological innovations have transformed all spheres of art, which until the past several decades have been quite traditional. How technology has found its place in the way we think, learn, communicate and create. The event takes place on Wednesday during Art Dubai at Madinat Jumeirah.
RCA Secret Exhibition, 21st March
The exhibition is the first show outside London of the Royal College of Arts and it showcases postcards from anonymous artists. The works from emerging artists, students and leading art masters will be available for purchase during Art Dubai for AED 500. The popularity of the exhibition is due to the mystery – the postcards are anonymous and the artist’s identity is revealed only after purchasing the piece.
Dubai Art Week 2015 also presents the three-month Sharjah Biennial 12: The Past, the Present, the Possible exhibition, which opened on 5th March in Sharjah. On 2nd April, Dubai Design District – the dedicated art, design, and culture community in the city, will also host a special event. Meet d3 will introduce the district to the public with various art and design exhibitions from local and international artists. The event will also offer entertainment, music performances, and even dining options to visitors for three days.