When it comes to the UAE’s art scene, Tashkeel is a cultural staple. The gallery, which launched in 2008, has long nurtured the region’s artists. In the years since, it never stopped. The art organization is now taking things to the next level with a new scholarship fund for UAE-based creatives.
With an aim to bolster the nation’s creative sector, the fund was established to encourage those pursuing postgraduate studies in visual art and design at institutions in and outside of the UAE. The fund will cover tuition fees to those awarded, with a call for submissions to be held every two years.
2021 marks the scholarship’s inaugural edition, and three artists have been selected. Palestinian-Canadian designer Faissal El Malak is among the recipients. With an already-successful eponymous label under his belt, El Malak will embark on a journey to pursue an MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University of London.
“My membership at Tashkeel for the past five years has been an essential factor in my growth as a designer and now as an artist. It has allowed me to connect with the creative fabric of the UAE and truly find a home in Dubai,” the artist said in a statement. “Tashkeel’s generosity allowed the acquisition of two pieces by the V&A making me the first Palestinian fashion designer to enter their collection,” he continued.
Alia Bin Omair, a member of Tashkeel since 2014, was also granted the funding to pursue a two-year MFA in Contemporary Jewellery at the prestigious Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School in Florence. The Emirati artist is behind an eponymous jewellery label, has already exhibited her work everywhere from London Design Festival, Dubai Design Week and Milan Design Week.
“I am honoured to be one of the recipients of the Tashkeel Scholarship Fund, and appreciate the generous support that will enable me to further my practice and career,” she says.
Interior and product designer Lina Ghalib is also among those awarded the prize. The artist, who graduated with a degree in Interior Architecture at the American University in Sharjah, has been a member of Tashkeel since 2019, participating in their Tanween design program. She will move on to take up a Master’s degree in Interior Design at Savannah College of Art and Design.
“I am truly humbled by the amount of support I am receiving from Tashkeel ever since joining the Tanween programme. It is as though they are my second home. I am honoured to be chosen for this Scholarship Fund. I intend to do my best on a daily basis as my small way of thanking Sheikha Latifa bint Maktoum and the Tashkeel team for their ongoing generosity. This is, with the will of God, the next step in forging a successful design career,” Ghalib announced.
For those keeping an eye on the fund, the next call of applicants will take place in 2023.