Mentorship to Help Expand Art Practice

Born and raised in the UAE, Syrian Majd Alloush deepened his love for the arts through teaching.

After graduating from college, Majd Alloush began working as a lab specialist in a university where he managed the art facilities, as well as teaching students about the foundation of photography, black and white film processing, and printmaking. He fell in love with the idea of sharing knowledge and teaching people.

We speak with Alloush about his journey to NYU Abu Dhabi’s Master of Fine Arts.

So what made you decide to pursue an MFA here at NYUAD?

Though my work as a lab speciaIist and teaching workshops in different institutions, such as Jameel Art Center and Sharjah Art, my love for teaching grew more and more. I am seeking mentorship to further expand my practice and focus on creating artwork and hence decided to pursue my MFA here. 

What area of art are you working in?

I come from a printmaking background and also do some 16mm filmmaking, but generally I work with almost everything. I don’t like trapping myself within one field so I try to utilize whatever I feel like working with.

You recently had an exhibition in Dubai. Can you tell us more about it? 

There were two exhibitions. I received a grant to produce some work for the Sharjah Art Museum where I experimented with Chladni patterns and visualized sound through vibration. The other exhibition is currently held at the Aisha Alabbar Gallery in Dubai where I am showcasing older works of mine Con-figuring and Untitled Landmarks. 

My theme talks about the life experiences that set forth an artist’s path and exploring the meaning of life and its purpose.

An art installation by Majd Alloush, an MFA student at NYU Abu Dhabi.
An art exhibition by Majd Alloush, an MFA student at NYU Abu Dhabi.

As a UAE resident, what made you decide to live on campus?

I think the idea of pressing the elevator button to my studio space anytime I want is very appealing! I also live in Umm Al Quwain and did not want to do the drive everyday. I definitely made the right choice — this community is starting to feel like home to me.

On campus housing for graduate students.
Graduate housing on campus.
On campus housing for graduate students.

How has your MFA experience been so far? 

It’s been excellent. We have wonderful staff and faculty who are ready to support us no matter what, they have been very patient and helpful in all aspects and I really appreciate that. Also the facilities available to MFA students are simply stupendous. 

What are your classmates like? 

I think as an artist, being surrounded by people that can understand, relate and support your practice is very crucial. My classmates are from different places in the world but we get along very well. Each of us are working on something different. Liane is doing something between writing and performance, Elizabeth is doing drawing, collage and printmaking, Fabiola is focused on painting and Mahra does amazing works with textile as well as other mixed media. We support each other emotionally, physically and technically. 

The MFA class in session at NYU Abu Dhabi.
Working space for MFA students on campus.
Majd Alloush, an MFA student at NYU Abu Dhabi.