FOCAL POINT art book fair, 2018. Bait Obaid Al Shamsi. Courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation


Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) announces the launch of the FOCAL POINT Publishing Grant, offering two or more grants totaling USD 30,000 in support of individual book and print projects, as well as independent publishing platforms with long-term plans for publishing books and other printed matter. Grantees will have the opportunity to present their work at FOCAL POINT 2019, Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual art book fair devoted to presenting varied printed matter and products by publishers across the UAE, the MENASA region and the world.

Running from 14 to 16 November 2019, the second edition of FOCAL POINT invites regional and international artists and publishers to present their work individually or within curated sections, accompanied by a public programme of talks, screenings, book launches, open studios and themed educational workshops. Catering to the interdisciplinary nature of publishing, FOCAL POINT fills a gap by offering a broad perspective on art publishing, with independent and alternative publishing practices featured alongside a select number of established publishing houses.

FOCAL POINT continues Sharjah Art Foundation’s commitment to the medium of print. Since its establishment in 2009, the foundation has published a variety of books on modern and contemporary art, including artist books, catalogues and scholarly volumes. The foundation supports the research-based efforts of visiting artists, curators and scholars and publishes catalogues for all biennials and curated exhibitions, which are made available to local, regional and international audiences interested in contemporary art and publishing.

The 2019 edition of FOCAL POINT will take place in the intimate setting of the heritage building Bait Obaid Al Shamsi in Sharjah’s Arts Square. Originally built in 1845 as a residential house, its two levels and courtyard space were renovated in the late 1990’s and then again in 2017 to be used for artist studios and exhibition spaces. The location has often served as a venue for past Sharjah Biennials and SAF exhibitions. A detailed schedule of FOCAL POINT events will be available later in 2019.

The submission deadline for the FOCAL POINT Publishing Grant applications is 8 June 2019. For more information and to apply, please visit