The shortlist for the local prize of the International Emerging Artist Award have been announced.
Eight Emirati artists made the final cut of the Dubai-based award: Areej Al Hammadi, Fatima Alghafli, Hamad Al Falasi, Hamdan Buti Al Shamisi, Khawla Darwish, Nassra Al Buainain, Zeinab Alhashemi and Shamma Buhazza - the youngest finalist, at age 19.
They join 74 other artists, from more than 30 countries, who are in the running in the international category.
The award's director Rebia Naim hailed this year's entries - and said their level of talent had forced the committee to double the shortlist from 40 to 80. "This year has been exceptional," Naim said. "Not only from a participation point of view but from the quality of work we have received. It was only fair to increase this number and promote more work."
After its announcement last year, more than 1,500 entries were submitted, with works scored on concept, technical ability, coherence and general impression.
The prize-winners for both International and local categories will be unveiled on March 18 at FN Designs during the Alserkal Avenue Art Night event.
The prize-winners will then exhibit their work internationally, with stops in Singapore (Vue Privée in May), Istanbul (The Empire Project in July) and Marseille (Galerie Gourvennec Ogor in December).
The International Emerging Artist Award is run under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum with the support of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. For more information, visit www.emergingartistaward.com