“International Connections: The Annual Faculty Exhibition of the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Sharjah”


Date: Thursday 24 Sep, 2020 - Thursday 28 Jan, 2021
Time: 10:00 am - 07:00 pm
Venue: Maraya Art Centre, Al Qasba (Block E), Third Floor , United Arab Emirates

SHARJAH - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | 24/09/ 2020 - Maraya Art Centre, the creative initiative under Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), together with the University of Sharjah, has announced the opening of three new exhibitions in its premises.

Group Exhibition “International Connections: The Annual Faculty Exhibition of the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Sharjah”

The third floor in Maraya Art Centre will house the group exhibition “International Connections: The Annual Faculty Exhibition of the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Sharjah”, curated by Printmaking Lecturer and Artist Brian Gonzales, and features newly created works of 17 faculty and professional Staff.

The participating artists and designers coming from over 10 different countries reflect the internationality of the faculty and staff, as well as their commitment to educate an international student body from around the globe in a range of disciplines.

Participants are as follows:

Thaier Helal (Syria) - Painting, Tor Seidel (Germany) – Photography, Mohamed Yousif Al-Hammadi (UAE) - Sculpture, Karima Mohamed Abdelaziz (UAE) – Visual Art, Muatasim Al Kubaisi (Iraq) - Sculpture, Brian Gonzales (United States of America) – Printmaking, Izmer Bin Ahmad (Malaysia) - Painting, Iman Abdel Shahid Ibrahim (Egypt) - Design,  Shaima Elbardawil (Jordan) – Visual Communication, Andra Camelia Clitan (Romania) - Fashion Design and Textiles, Dana Khalid Amro (Jordan) - Design, Nada Abdallah (Lebanon) – Visual Communication, Sama Al Rasheed (Jordan) –Visual Communication, Nadia Al Badri (Iraq) – Design, Ahmad Manar Laham (Syria)– Illustration, Fatima Mahmoud Alansari (UAE) - Design, Polite Mangoro (Zimbabwe) – Fashion Design. 

Dr. Nadia M. Alhasani, Professor and Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Sharjah, said: “International Connections represents a mélange of experiences and convictions from the College of Fine Arts and Design’s faculty and staff; artists and designers connected through their presence in Sharjah. Most of them developed their concepts before lockdown and completed their works while practicing social distancing. Some forged ahead defying the pandemic, while others paused rethinking their message in a world that mandated a change in priorities. This fundamental shift in perception and experience has greatly influenced the creative world.  The virtual world has benefitted from a surge in artistic presence through virtual museum tours and exhibition visits, online artist conversations and dialogues, and synchronous concerts and musical events. We hope you shall enjoy experiencing International Connections, our first virtual Faculty Show!”

Curator Brian Gonzales said: “International Connections presents a complex visual dialogue between the varying disciplines of art and design. In addition to recognizing the diversity of CFAD research and creative output this exhibition aims to contextualize the art and design profession within the broader cultural atmosphere of the UAE as a crossroads of cultural and intellectual perspectives.” 

The two exhibitions on the second floor, curated by German curator Sven Christian Schuch, are very different in nature, however connected through the exchange and friendship between the exhibiting artists.

“In Uncharted Territories. New Works by Tor Seidel” in particular looks at the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic through the eyes of photography lecturer and Berlin-born artist Tor Seidel. “A Private Collection of Printed Matters” focuses on the print collection of artist and printmaker Brian Gonzales, showcasing all prints in his possession in its various forms.

Director of Maraya Art Centre and 1971 – Design Space, Dr. Nina Heydemann, mentioned:"It is our great pleasure to open with three new exhibitions in September and to welcome the works by Faculty and Staff Members of the College of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Sharjah in our premises. The three exhibitions address various themes and reflect them in numerous disciplines, thereby presenting a truly international outlook on the current events that are shaping and transforming our world today.”

About the University of Sharjah, College of Fine Art and Design

The College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) at the University of Sharjah aspires to become a leading regional art and design school, adopting current global practices, towards international visibility.

Situated at the cultural intersection between Asia and Africa, the College aims to foster globally aware, and technologically versatile creative thinkers. Moreover, it aspires to be an international center of excellence that boasts superior art facilities for teaching, research and creative discovery as well as for exhibiting artworks.

The CFAD is committed to contributing to the development of society in line with the values, heritage and culture of the Arab and Muslim communities, while striving for the progress of arts education and research in the Emirate of Sharjah and the UAE with regional and global outreach.

It is expected that graduates of the CFAD become leaders in their chosen fields. Students and faculty, with their expertise and accomplishments, provide cultural, intellectual, and aesthetic stimulation for the campus, the Emirate of Sharjah and beyond.