Once an industrial district, Al Quoz has undergone a massive transformation over the last decade. Home to Alserkal Avenue, the area has seen a complete overhaul. Today, the district isn’t just considered to be a hub for regional artists and galleries – it’s also become an emerging art district to watch on the international art scene.
The man behind Alsekal Avenue, Abdelmonem Alserkal, has just announced plans to take things to the next level by launching the Alserkal Arts Foundation offering public art commissions, residencies, research grants and educational programmes.
Since its launch, the space has grown to house 60 creative spaces, from galleries to cafes, and even a homegrown chocolate shop. But anyone who is familiar with the local scene should know that Alserkal Avenue has always been more than just a compound of insanely large warehouses.
Previously, Abdelmonem Alserkal pushed the creative scene forward through a set of programmes. The art patron was known for commissioning public artworks displayed in the district, events, and even a residency programme. But with the launch of Alserkal Arts Foundation, his involvement in nurturing the scene has become official.
“Today we cement our commitment to fostering artistic development in the region and beyond, with the establishment of Alserkal Arts Foundation,” he said in a statement. “When I founded Alserkal, I wanted to make a meaningful contribution to arts and culture in the UAE and in the region – one that was befitting of the values of the Alserkal family.”
To kick things off, the foundation unveiled its first artist commission, a project entitled Rhodiola, by Athens-based collective 3 137 which just opened in Warehouse 90. As for future commissions, they’re due to take place annually during Spring.
When it comes to research grants, the foundation invites artists, architects, writers, publishers and filmmakers with an aim to “disrupt conservative boundaries between conventional disciplines” to apply for funding for their projects. Submissions for the 2020 grants will open on October 1 2019, until January 31 2020.