Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) inaugurated Al Hamriyah Studios on 19 February 2017. HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi, member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, officially opened the new artist workspaces and exhibition areas.
Situated on the Sharjah coast at Al Hamriyah, the latest addition to SAF’s off-site venues allows the Foundation to expand and diversify its programming outside the central exhibition spaces in Arts Square and the Heritage Area to include the whole of the Emirate of Sharjah. In close proximity to Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamriyah Studios also extends the Foundation’s outreach activities to different local communities in the northern Emirates.
Programmes at the new venue will build on already established education initiatives in the local area. At Al Hamriyah Art Centre, one of the Foundation’s six art centres across the central and eastern regions of the Emirate, SAF programming has engaged local audiences through a focus on education workshops ranging from painting, sculpture and calligraphy to ceramics and photography. As part of Sharjah Biennial 13: Tamawuj (SB13), SB13 School – a special year-long education programme – has offered workshops in Al Hamriyah that are rooted in the four keywords forming the conceptual framework of the biennial (water, crops, earth and culinary). In addition, Al Hamiryah Studios will be one of the venues exhibiting existing works as well as newly commissioned projects.
In his design of Al Hamriyah Studios, Emirati architect Khaled Al Najjar of the award-winning local firm dxb.lab combines avant-garde and modern architectural technologies with regionally-inspired customs and traditions of the built environment. In keeping with SAF’s other urban development projects, which have readapted historic architectural elements to new uses, Al Hamriyah Studios were constructed on the site of a former souq. Conversing with the site’s history and prior use as an introverted market space, the footprint of the courtyard and periphery have largely been maintained and transformed into an open, more fluid space, which allows for a communal social and spatial experience around contemporary art.
The 2510.8 m2 community space will enable artists to concentrate on the production of artworks while engaging with other artists. The hubs of social interaction are the 761.8 m2 courtyard, the large multi-purpose room and the pantry space with its large communal table. Landscaped with local trees and plants, the courtyard will play host to a range of SAF public events, including outdoor cinema screenings and performances.
Daily boat trips to Al Hamiryah Studios will be offered as part of the Sharjah Biennial 13 opening week programme. As SB13 boat trips have a limited capacity, those interested in joining one of the trips should register by 7 March 2017 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sharjah Art Foundation:
Sharjah Art Foundation brings a broad range of contemporary art and cultural programmes to the communities of Sharjah, the UAE and the region. Since 2009, SAF has built on the history of cultural collaboration and exchange that began with the first Sharjah Biennial in 1993. Working with local and international partners, we create opportunities for artists and artistic production through our core initiatives that include the Sharjah Biennial, the annual March Meeting, residencies, production grants, commissions, exhibitions, research, publications and growing collection. Our education and public programmes focus on building recognition of the central role art can play in the life of a community by promoting public learning and a participatory approach to art. All our events are free and open to the public.
For more information about Sharjah Art Foundation, visit www.sharjahart.org.
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Sharjah Art Foundation: Alyazeyah Al Reyaysa: T +971 6 544 4113 / email@example.com
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