Abu Dhabi Art Collective: an exhibition
The Abu Dhabi Art Collective are a newly formed artist collaboration in the capital. Defining themselves as “a community art group celebrating all artistic disciplines, promoting creativity and talent in Abu Dhabi, they have their first show up until the end of this week in the National Theatre.
Here The Art Blog caught up Chelsie Joy, one of the founders, for a Q&A session:
Q: How many artists are in the collective?
A: There are 27 exhibiting artists, however the collective as an official group is still in the startup stages. The idea for the collective came about during the planning of the show.
Q: What is the selection criteria and who selects them?
A: The first show was a general open call to all artists of any medium. We capped the number of artists at 30 simply due to space constraints. Currently we’re on a first-come first-served basis and as our working mandate is simply “art for all”, we are not interested in being an exclusive group closed to only one style or medium.
Q: The event takes the form of an exhibition at the Abu Dhabi National Theatre; are there any events planned alongside it?
A: Yes, we had an opening night with performances. Each evening from 6-8 pm one or two artists are hosting at the exhibition. Some artists have elected to do demonstrations as well.
Q: Is there a curator for the show?
A: There was no official curator for the show. All artists arrived on the morning of the show and many stayed to help set up.
Q: What is your role?
A: Gulsen Gecim, Katharina Moller, myself (Chelsie Joy), and Pierre are the core group of organizers although we had many others help with various things like catering.
Q: Why did you start the group and what are its objectives?
A: The group was started as a response to the show. The show was already in the works when we decided to form an official group and continue doing similar events around Abu Dhabi in the future. Our objective is to help promote local-based creativity and talent in Abu Dhabi and to create an environment of accessibility for both artists and art lovers. As visual artists we want to collaborate with other artistic disciplines. We have formed a positive relationship with The Emirates Writer’s Union and will continue to work with them in the future.
Q: Do you plan any more exhibitions?
A: We will definitely plan more events in the future. People should connect with us on facebook for event announcements: www.facebook.com/ADArtsCollective
Q: How are you funded, do you have sponsorship?
A: At this time we are funded out of pocket. We ran our first show without a budget of any kind. We plan to come up with a funding system in the future. Many of the works are for sale through the artist directly.
Q: What is your general hope for the future? How do you hope to expand?
A: For now we are working on coming up with our organisational structure and will start planning ahead for future shows. We will have two large shows per year, with smaller shows running throughout Abu Dhabi. We are also looking into the possibility of running workshops and artist talks.
* The first Abu Dhabi Arts Collective exhibition runs until Friday at Abu Dhabi National Theatre.