Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2014 recipient to benefit from additional USD 10,000 contribution for continued development and exposure

Press Release

World-renowned artist Christo has announced a further contribution of USD 10,000 to the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award for the purpose of launching the careers of young UAE-based artists.

Now in its second year, the Award will have an extended application period, providing budding young artists with more than five months to conceptualize and create proposals for artwork to be exhibited publicly across the UAE and beyond.

The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, and presented by NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Institute in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), was initiated last year to nurture talent and serve as a launch pad for young artists.

The Award is open to UAE residents who are full-time students currently in higher education institutions or who have graduated in the past five years. Potential media include, but are not limited to, painting, photography, sculpture, installation, land art, or video, and entrants are encouraged to think creatively about potential exhibition locations. The winner of the Award will receive USD 20,000 for the production of the proposed work and for touring of the work in locations across the UAE. The further grant of USD 10,000 is to fund related opportunities, which may include training for the artist and exhibiting the artwork internationally.

Reindert Falkenburg, NYUAD vice provost of Intellectual and Cultural Outreach, said: “The remarkable impact this Award has made in a short period of time is clear from the range of thoughtful, creative, and implementable submissions received in its inaugural year. We look forward to continuing to expand and develop this opportunity to support young artists in the Emirates.”

The winner of the 2013 Award, Sheikha Maryam Bint Sultan Al Nahyan, was selected from among 26 entries from applicants representing 13 nationalities. In spring of this year she presented her mirage-inspired installation Mirari that was exhibited at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus, in Sharjah, and at the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, before it concludes its tour in Al Ruwais. Shortlisted entrants also attended the opening of Christo’s latest work, Big Air Package, in Germany, where they participated in a series of workshops on engineering and technical challenges faced during the making of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Wrapped Reichstag (1995), The Gates (2005), and the Big Air Package (2013).

ADMAF Founder, H.E. Mrs Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo said, “Under the esteemed patronage of H.H. Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award exemplifies our long-standing commitment to inspire young and emerging UAE-based artists. Christo is one of the world’s most influential artists, and his unrivalled knowledge as well as infectious enthusiasm has enthused students and young people across the UAE in recent years. After an incredibly successful inaugural edition, we look forward to work with the NYUAD Institute on the 2014 Award. The spirit of Christo and Jeanne-Claude is upheld and the creativity of the UAE visual arts sector is celebrated through this initiative, which has already proven itself as a dynamic national platform to launch the next generation of arts practitioners.”

Christo said, “I have been impressed by the courage and creativity of the young generation of artists here in the UAE. With our friends at the NYUAD Institute and ADMAF, I am happy to support this Award and to help the young people here make their art a reality.”

Applications will be received on the NYUAD and ADMAF websites until midnight on October 31. The winner will be publicly announced in December and the winning artwork will tour the UAE in the spring of 2014. Students must be nominated for the Award by a mentor or academic tutor, while recent graduates may apply either independently or with the support of a nominator. More information on the award and application process can be found at www.nyuad.nyu.edu and www.afmaf.org.

About the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
The NYU Abu Dhabi Institute hosts academic conferences, workshops, lectures, film series, performances, and other public programs directed both to local audiences and to the worldwide academic and research community. It is a center of the scholarly community for Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, and the Gulf, bringing together faculty and students from institutions of higher learning throughout the region.