The Emirates Fine Arts Society has announced a call for entries to participate in the 34th session of the annual General Exhibition set to take place at the Sharjah Art Museum in January 2016 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
Nasser Abdullah, Chairman of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, said that the exhibition, which is the oldest in both the UAE and the wider region, seeks to display the work and experience of art projects which occupy artists throughout the year. He said, "The exhibition is a reflection of the state of fine arts in the United Arab Emirates."
The first Emirates Fine Arts Society exhibition was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Information and Culture in the French Cultural Centre in 1980, the same year in which the society was founded. Through its later sessions, the exhibition was able to attract all types of artists with over 1,000 artists, talented individuals, and university students participating to provide a general panorama of visual art products in the UAE. The location in which the exhibition was held changed to Sharjah Expo and later the Sharjah Art Museum.
Since the 24th session held in 2005, the exhibition has adopted the idea of a curator, which has become an international trend that strives to render the visual exhibition with an emphasis on a subject and concept by selecting a curator to choose the overall theme. The curator for 2005 was Hassan Sharif, and later sessions adopted the same system, with curators Nasser Abdullah, Ahmed Sharif, Mohammed Al-Kassab, Ibtisam Abdel Aziz, Layla Juma Rashid, Khalil Abdel Wahed, Abdel Rahim Salem, Nasser Nasrallah, and Matar bin Lahej.
Abdullah added that the artist Mohamed Al-Mazroui was chosen to be the curator for the next session, and Maitha Abdullah was selected as Assistant Curator. In turn, the Exhibition Curator chooses a title for the exhibition, the next session will have a Noah's Ark theme, an idea that emphasises the close connection between art and communities, drawing a picture of coexistence. This has become a feature of stability in the world and specifically the UAE, which represents an outstanding model in the region.
Mazroui said that the 34th session of the exhibition poses the theme of Noah's Ark in the service of an intellectual visual narrative, a symbolic, epic story that references the gathering of races, cultures, and religions, and even creatures like plants, animals, birds, and inanimate objects. This collection comes together in one place: the land, and exclusively, the United Arab Emirates. This model is complementary and extended to other models of history of the human experience and highlights the Emirates as a unique model of a state in which more than two hundred nationalities hailing from around the world coexist.
The title of the exhibition comes from the symbolism held by the story of the Prophet Noah, PBUH, which formed part of the backbone of human history through the ark that was once the Earth, a sign of the unity and diversity of its assets.
Regarding participation in the exhibition, Nasser Abdullah, Chairman of the Board of Directors, confirmed that all artists are eligible to participate. Participation applications have been circulating among members, and if an artist who is not a member wishes to participate, they can reach out to the Emirates Fine Arts Society or contact them via email.