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AUS students shortlisted for Sheikha Manal Award
Thirty-five students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) have been shortlisted for the prestigious Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award, considered the UAE's most important award competition for young emerging Emirati and UAE-based artists.
Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, UAE, the competition is divided into four categories: Fine Art, Photography, Multimedia and Design. The prize money for the award totals AED 415,000.
Of the 50 shortlisted artists this year, 35 belong to AUS, a testament to the excellent quality of work produced by the university's students. The winners will be announced on January 26, 2015.
According to Kevin Badni, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Art and Design at AUS, "The Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award is one of the most prestigious local art and design prizes. We are very proud to have so many students from AUS shortlisted. These undergraduate students are primarily College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) majors, but all have taken CAAD courses, and the work entered was likely created in or inspired by these courses. We did extremely well last year and I am hoping for more good news in the coming weeks."
"Being one of the 50 shortlisted artists in Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award proves that hard work and creativity are always appreciated in the UAE," said Hanin Abbas Hazeem, an interior design student at AUS. "My work, entitled Little Wooden Creatures, challenges some basic rules of physics and gravity. The table's top is bulky and massive but the legs gradually slim out until they touch the ground. The legs are also flush with the top yet in extraordinary places, providing stability yet creating a futuristic look."
A public exhibition of the 50 shortlisted works will open on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at City Walk in Dubai, curated by artist and advisor Patricia Millns. Last year CAAD students won nine of the 13 awards. Bahar Al Bahar scooped the prestigious People's Choice Award, which is decided by public vote, for his work "Fusion" while Samar Idris and Tayma Bittard won first and second prize, respectively in the Multimedia category. Sara Alagroobi, Bahar Al Bahar and Nada Abu Shakra, received first, second and third prizes, respectively, in the Photography category. Joint second prize for the Fine Arts category was won by Hatem Hatem for his work "Identify Portrait" and Nasser Alzayani for "Wind Towers." Third place was awarded to Sara Alagroobi for "Solace."
2015 marks an increase in the prize money and the value. The total prize money breaks down as AED 50,000, AED 30,000 and AED 20,000 cash prize for winner, runner-up and second runner-up, respectively of the four competition categories and a cash prize of AED 10,000 for the winner of the People's Choice Award, votes for which can be cast at www.YoungArtistAward.ae.
This year also marks the introduction of the #ClickYAA Competition category , where the best social media photo will receive AED 5,000. Open to members of the public, #ClickYAA invites people to creatively capture photos or videos from the exhibition at City Walk and upload them on Instagram using the offcial hashtag #ClickYAA.
Mona Bin Kalli, Director of The Cultural Office of Her Highness Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, "We are delighted to host the 9th edition of this highly anticipated exhibition at City Walk, enabling art enthusiasts from the general public to enjoy the impressive works of contemporary artworks by young emerging talents in the UAE. With every year, The Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award has continued to heighten it's influence and impact on the UAE's art scene through the recognition and support of young emerging artists; an achievement that has been made possible through the forging of key partnerships with esteemed organizations and unique locations such as City Walk - the premium outdoor destination by Meraas Holding, who share our dedication to nurturing of the arts within the UAE."
"Moreover, we are delighted to note that this year's application process received the highest number of entries for the award ever, which were richly diverse in subject matter and context, and of the highest standards. Thus ensuring the most riveting and exciting exhibition ever. I would like to welcome everyone from the public to be part of this event," she added.
The panel of judges for the 2014 edition of the award comprises industry professionals and practicing artists from the local and international art community. These include Dr. Lamees Hamdan, Commissioner of the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates at La Biennale di Venezia 2013; Fatma Lootah, Emirati artist; Reem Fadda, Associate Curator of Guggenheim Museum Abu Dhabi; Antonia Carver, Fair Director of Art Dubai; and Cyril Zammit, Fair Director of Design Days.
The Sheikha Manal Young Artists Award was launched in 2006 as an annual visual art competition, designed to encourage, recognize and promote emerging artists from the UAE. The award is popular among university students majoring in art, design and multimedia. The contest is open to all UAE residents between 18 and 30 years old, the only major criterion being that the artist should not have had an independent solo exhibition previously.