ABU DHABI, 13th March, 2018 (WAM) -- The second edition of Galleries Week, hosted in partnership with Abu Dhabi Art, Warehouse421 and Festember, has concluded after a week of artwork sales for participating galleries.
The community event was inaugurated at a special preview on 6th March 2018 by Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, and Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director-General DCT Abu Dhabi.
Ghobash said, "Galleries Week fulfils a key year-round role in helping to develop ties between galleries, artists and the wider community in Abu Dhabi, as well as encouraging new collectors with accessible price points. It’s great to also comment on the fact that, out of 34 artists chosen by the galleries for this event, 10 were from the UAE, reflecting a clear growth in the local art market which we are pleased to support."
Galleries Week offered commercial galleries the opportunity to exhibit and sell works by local and regional artists with prices starting at AED650. Sales figures for the 2018 edition of Galleries Week totalled over AED467,000 with 61 artworks purchased during the event, a 57% increase from the 2017 edition.
Launched in 2017, the community art event this year featured six commercial galleries including first-time participants Meem Gallery from Dubai and Etihad Modern Art Gallery from Abu Dhabi and four returning galleries namely Abu Dhabi based Salwa Zaidan Gallery, Dubai-based Cuadro Fine Art Gallery as well as Jeddah-based ATHR and Hafez Gallery.
Faisal Al Hassan, Manager at Warehouse421, said, "Warehouse421 is pleased to have partnered with Abu Dhabi Art and Festember to wrap up another successful edition of Galleries Week. The response to the event has been great, and our visitors truly appreciated the community vibe of the Galleries Week experience brought to life through a vibrant mix of art activities, retail pop-ups by local designers, entertainment line-up by local entertainers, dining experiences at food trucks and so much more. It has also been a fantastic weekend for the participating galleries who were able to reach out to a wider community of collectors in the UAE and showcase the artworks of a number of regional artists for sale. While Galleries Week has drawn to a close, Warehouse421 will continue to host the commercial galleries for an extended duration through their dedicated exhibitions, bringing the world of art closer to our visitors."
Meagan Kelly Horsman from Meem Gallery said, "Meem Gallery has had a wonderful week at Warehouse421. This is our first year participating in Galleries Week and we have been delighted with the public engagement with our artworks on display and met many new faces and collectors. Looking forward to Galleries Week 2019!"
Basma Harasani from ATHR said, "Many people gravitated towards our young Saudi artists, which was great as that offered them a new platform here in Abu Dhabi – this is the first time they have exhibited in a place other than Jeddah. In particular Badr Ali, Ghada Al Rabeah and Wafaa Abu Saad had great success."
Salwa Zeidan from Salwa Zeidan Gallery reported from the event, "I think it’s a fantastic way to communicate with new art lovers and connect with existing collectors. The result has been great – everyone is buying art because of the low price points. But also and more importantly this week has made art accessible to wider audiences, everyone is enjoying the atmosphere. The music and food trucks have made it into a very entertaining event for families too. It creates the possibility that new people here in Abu Dhabi will start collecting. Sales have been really good, including works on paper by Hussain Sharif and also a big commission for an Emirati artist that I represent, Abdul Aziz Al-Fadli, from a new collector who came across the work here for the first time.’