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AUS receives paintings donated by artist Ismail Al Rifai
American University of Sharjah (AUS) has received a collection of six paintings donated by renowned artist Ismail Al Rifai during his visit to the university today, April 6. The paintings were received by Dr. Thomas J. Hochstettler, AUS Acting Chancellor and Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, AUS Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs, on behalf of the university. The generous artwork contribution came about through the collaboration of the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, as part of the university's Art through University and Community Dialogue initiative.
"At AUS, we have been mandated to engage organically with our community and help foster and nurture creative endeavors in fields as varied as science and commerce to literature and the arts," said Dr. Hochstettler. "Therefore, we take our role to encourage and promote cultural exchanges very seriously as it is an integral part of the university's mission. We are pleased and grateful for this generous gift received as part of the Art through University and Community Dialogue initiative," he added.
"The artwork gifts speak to the bond between the university and community leaders in all walks of life, in an initiative to enrich the art collection at AUS and for art to continue to flourish within the university culture," added Salem Al Qaseer, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs.
Vice Chancellor Mourtada-Sabbah said: "Part of the university's mission is to cultivate the fine arts, literature, and sciences within the Emirates. Creative professionals need a community of expertise and talent to evaluate, critique and stimulate one another. A number of AUS alumni are already recognized as budding artists who are joining endeavors with other artists in the country. These include rising names in the art world such as AUS alumnae Reem Al Ghaith and Lamya Gargash, among many others. The university is committed to enabling students and alumni to further their skills in the arts and sciences through interacting with established experts like the acclaimed artists in the UAE and the GCC."
During his visit to AUS, Al Rifai thanked the university's leadership for continuing to improve awareness of the arts at the highest levels. Additionally, he praised AUS's efforts to link the university with society and the community in order to enhance the empowerment of students and alumni as they interact with the pioneers of art in the UAE and other experts and specialists in various fields. He also said: "Not only does AUS encourage the arts but its magnificent buildings are ideal for permanently displaying prominent artwork collections. The university constantly supports such creative talents allowing contemporary art to gain more exposure in the region as AUS's young people are able to excel in all fields."