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Artists from AUS win big at Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award
Students from the College of Architecture, Art and Design of American University of Sharjah (AUS) won several awards at the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award ceremony held on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at the Dubai Ladies Club Art and Talent Centre Building.
Omar Aly Mohamed won first prize in photography category. In that same category, Bassim Akbar Eskande came in second and Razan Daoud Khalaf placed third. Deena Stevens won second prize in the multimedia category, and Roudha Al Ghurair won third place in the fine arts category.
"Congratulations to the students for achieving this level of distinction," said Dr. Thomas J. Hochstettler, AUS Provost.
The competition aims to enrich the local cultural environment by providing opportunities of creative expression and thereby contribute to the artistic movement in the UAE. Artists from AUS made up a quarter of the 50 artists shortlisted for the competition.
Twelve AUS artists were shortlisted for 13 spots in the competition. Raudha Al Ghurair was shortlisted for fine arts; Deena Stevens for multimedia; Roudha Bint Butti Bin Bishr for painting; Deena Stevens, Sheetal Jayaram, Bassim A. Eskande, Farah Nasri, Mohammed Al Hashimi, Omar Aly Mohamed and Razan Daoud Khalaf for photography; Sawsan Al Bahar for printmaking; and Rami Alotaibi and Naji Mahmoud for digital renderings.
Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs of the UAE, President of Dubai Women Establishment, the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award supports, recognizes and promotes talented individuals of the UAE, both nationals and residents, who have demonstrated exceptional artistic promise.
The award is divided into three categories-fine art, photography and multimedia-each comprising various mediums. The top three prizes in each category carry cash awards of AED 30,000, AED 20,000 and AED 10,000 respectively.
The students studied under Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Professor in Design; David Hewitt, Phil Sheil, Amir Berbic and Mark Pilkington, Associate Professors in Design; George Katodrytis, Associate Professor in Architecture; and Paul Bantey and Zlatan Filipovic, Assistant Professors in Design.
"I would like to believe that I had no help in getting to where I am now, but the truth is a lot of the credit goes to my AUS professors. For my winning project, I was influenced mostly by Professor Tarek Al-Ghoussein. In his class I was always being pushed out of my comfort zone and made to explore different things that I never would have," said Omar Aly Mohamed. "I put in a lot of effort into going deeper with my concepts, which resulted in the production of the winning project that I submitted to the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award."
"What we learned in our Photography for Communication class taught by Professor Tarek Al-Ghoussein served as a strong foundation that gave us great understanding on how photography could be utilized for creative expression, which is also is the aim of the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award," said Bassim Akber Eskander.
"Photography for Communication is essentially a semester-long investigation of a topic that is selected by the student. In this class, students are required to provide a commentary on an issue of personal or greater social significance. A portfolio of 15 images must function as a cohesive and coherent portfolio on a theme," said Professor Al-Ghoussein.
"I would like to thank Professor Tarek for encouraging me to submit my piece for the competition, because I was hesitant at first. I would also like to thank my parents for being extremely supportive. Winning something this big is overwhelming, and now I do believe that anything is possible," said Razan Daoud Khalaf.
"Congratulations to the CAAD students selected to participate in the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award Shortlisted Exhibition," said Peter Di Sabatino, Dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Design.