Art Jameel

Art Jameel to open new art centre in Dubai and team up with The Met Museum in New York

A rendering of The Jameel Arts Centre

A new arts centre will open on Dubai Creek at the end of 2018.

The Jameel Arts Centre Dubai (JAC) is an art centre, artist residence, and creative enterprise incubator, located at the tip of Dubai’s Cultural Village, overlooking the Dubai Creek. This 4,150 m2 art centre consist of galleries, artist studios, classrooms, incubator spaces and a restaurant. The JAC is dedicated to the display, promotion and creation of Middle East and North Africa art and its connection and potential to the wider global arts movement.

Conceived as a series of boxes and bound together by a one storey high colonnade, the JAC is an intimate place for experiencing and producing art. This is afforded by careful insertion of courtyards between the different boxes and the colonnade. These courtyards become spill out spaces for the users and visitors of the art centre, and offer a space of repose as one moves from one gallery to another. The colonnade also works as an active social space, charging the edge of the building with activities and enlivening the waterfront promenade.

As each gallery is contained within a box of varying dimensions, it offers a flexible and rich curatorial potential – from small intimate gallery for enjoying smaller works to large galleries with soaring height for large sculptures. The massing of the building, its spatiality, and its façade articulation draws from the rich architectural tradition of the region and yet interpreted with the simplicity, elegance and intelligence that are synonymous with the work of Serie.

Its size and scale mean it will contribute vastly to the art scene already existing in the UAE, providing much needed resource for artists of many disciplines.

“We hope it will greatly enhance the cultural landscape of the city,” says Antonia Carver, the director of Art Jameel. “Dubai is known around the world as a commercial hub but now for the first time the city will have an open access, contemporary, cultural institution.”

There will be regular artist residencies hosted at the centre, for writers and researchers as well as artists and an ongoing programme of exhibitions. This programming will begin immediately in the Art Jameel Project Space in Alserkal Avenue, which will act as an interim space until the centre opens at the end of 2018.

“When the centre opens, it will not only be a milestone for Art Jameel but a major milestone for the local art scene as well as, having a great regional impact,” she says.

In addition to the art centre announcement, Art Jameel also unveiled a new partnership with The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (The Met), where they will fund acquisitions of Middle Eastern art for the American museums permanent collection. To date, these include video and photographic works by the Egyptian artist Maha Maamoun.

Clare Davies, the assistant curator of Middle Eastern, North African, and Turkish art at The Met says this is a crucial relationship.

“What is important about this partnership is that Art Jameel are really helping us to launch a core collection of works from the region within The Met but I am also personally happy this is being supported by a regional institution because for me it is central to not only have those pieces of art but to have relationships with the region.”

She added that when considering acquisitions, she will be looking back over the past 150 years at artists who are necessary to tell the story of the region.


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