Although it is best known for its business, financial and tourism opportunities, Dubai also has a lot to offer to artists of all kind through the regular residency programs that are available. As any great city, art and culture is a very important part and Dubai certainly recognizes that.
One of the more prominent programs is Artist-in Residence (A.I.R.) Dubai. Run by Delfina Foundation with The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Tashkeel it is open to local as well as international artists and curators. All artists selected to participate in the program are invited to a three-month long stay in the country where they work closely with curators and other artist in producing site-specific works of art.
Artists of all disciplines are welcome. From traditional arts such as painting or sculpting to photography, conceptual art and mixed media and contemporary art. As a site of great historical and cultural heritage, Dubai offers special inspiration and invites artists to collaborate using inspiration from UAE’s heritage and also their own specific background to produce works of art that are both original and encompass both local and foreign influences.
As well as being commissioned to produce works of art, artists must also engage in the expanded outreach and education programs with workshops, talks and other activities that take place during the residency. With the supervision of the assistant curator and curator they are expected to engage local schools and universities as well as local art communities at large. As an artist in residence it is your responsibility to engage in communication with all relevant subjects in the field of art in order to further your own creative process as well as impact the local art scenes with your unique approach and sensibility.
Prior to the residency itself the artists are invited to visit Dubai for a two week long stay during which they will be introduced to all the particularities of the program as well as have the chance to tour the facilities and local art communities emerging themselves in to the vibrant arts scene of Dubai. There you can get accustomed to the local practices and customs which will make your residency run more smoothly as well as allow you time to plan your endeavor with more care and information.
Not every artist can be accepted for a residency in Dubai. You need to prove your art to be relevant and also be prepared to engage in a significant work of art during your stay. Therefore the artists most likely to be accepted are the ones whose practice includes highly intensive research to make full use of the residency experience and seek a momentous opportunity to research a bold, seminal art project while being able to display achievement or potential in visually articulating groundbreaking and critically engaged ideas and concepts in innovative and collaborative way. They also must be able to be resourceful and operate in a cost-effective way while being able to demonstrate how the experience of the residency will benefit their practice and career development as well as the development of Dubai’s art scene as a whole.