12 University of the Arts Studio Art Graduate Students Selected to Participate in Emirates Fine Arts Society Exhibition

Students travel to Sharjah, UAE, for exhibition opening through funding made possible by Emirates Fine Arts Society and the UArts President's Office

February 1, 2011

Twelve University of the Arts graduate students were selected to exhibit their work in the Emirates Fine Arts Society's 29th Annual Exhibition being held in the city of Sharjah, the third largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.

The students are a part of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Studio Art, directed by Assistant Professor Joe Girandola, and include Eric Abaka, AJ Bredensteiner, David Chatfield, Harry Hukkinen, Michele Kishita, Guy Loraine, Lauren McCarty, Carrice McKinstry, Marge Renno, Kris Strawser, Andrew Walker and Tae Gyun Yoon. The exhibition is on display at the Sharjah Art Museum through May 16, concurrently exhibiting with the International Sharjah Biennial 10, which runs March 16 - May 16.

Thousands of artists submitted their work for consideration for this exhibition. A total of 34 works were selected from artists all around the world with 12 artists selected from the University of the Arts. The students travelled to Sharjah for the exhibit's opening reception through funding made possible by the Emirates Fine Arts Society and the University's Office of the President.

The low-residency MFA Program in Studio Art at the University of the Arts is a professional-practice art studio program for more than 40 graduate students for three consecutive summers of eight-week residencies. Each summer, the program welcomes a mentoring artist through an artist-residency program. This past summer, the program welcomed Moammed Kazem from the Flying House, a contemporary house of Emirate art. Both Kazem and Studio Art Program director Girandola felt that the Emirates Fine Arts Society Exhibition would be a wonderful opportunity for UArts students.

"I was able to organize an exhibition opportunity for our graduate students that enabled all of us to be welcomed into a beautifully diverse and creative culture through the artwork of our MFA Program at the University of the Arts," said Girandola. "This opened the door for dynamic discourse and honest reflection that seamlessly erased any pre-conceived notion of a culture that has been portrayed in the west as a 'distant veiled society.' Meeting and exhibiting artwork at the Sharjah Art Museum with like-minded artists from the GCC (Gulf Corporation Council/ United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) and from around the globe has confirmed the notion that first and foremost, through the creative process, bridges can be built to connect our hearts and minds."

To view the selected students' artwork and for additional information documenting their trip, visit stillmelting.blogspot.com.   

Above: MFA Director Joe Girandola talks with H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, about UArts MFA student Guy Loraine's artwork installed at the Sharjah Art Museum.

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