The 2017 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award Now Open for Submissions

Annual Award presented in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation celebrates and nurtures artistic talent in the UAE

Press Release

The sixth Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award, presented by NYU Abu Dhabi under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, and in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), is now open for 2017 submissions. The Award aims to cultivate emerging artistic talent in the UAE by annually recognizing the creation of an artwork that, in the spirit of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, can be publicly exhibited and enjoyed.

The highly prestigious award is open to all young artists in the UAE, who have graduated in the past five years. Applications are open until November 30, 2016. Entrants may select any medium including, but not limited to: photography, sculpture, installation, land art, or video. The artwork will be exhibited and the winning artist will be awarded USD$10,000 by Christo himself to fund future artistic projects.

NYUAD Art Gallery Director Maya Allison said: “Producing a work of public art is among the most challenging and rewarding projects an artist can undertake: surmounting the challenges of such projects means the artist’s work will reach a much wider audience. With this award, Christo supports a rare opportunity for young artists to gain a very specialized skillset: creating public art. NYUAD’s Visual Arts department, Art Gallery, and Institute are proud to mentor the awardee and produce the award, made possible by our partnership with ADMAF and Christo. We look forward to future UAE artists who thus gain the skill and experience to enable them to create the public art for the UAE’s future.”

H.E. Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “The unveiling of The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award has become a highlight of the Abu Dhabi Festival. There is so much artistic talent grown and nurtured in the UAE and the quality of the submissions we have seen in the past has really been a credit to this. At ADMAF, we pride ourselves on giving this talent a platform on which to shine, and I am very excited to see what the Award, now in its fifth year, will bring to the 2017 Abu Dhabi Festival.”

The selection committee will meet on January 8 and 15, 2017 and the winning artwork will be unveiled at NYUAD on April 27, 2017.

Christo commented: “Creativity is the lifeblood of civilization – and supporting creativity in the UAE is so important. The experience this award offers young artists is tremendous. Good luck to all our applicants.”

The 2016 Award honoured American University of Sharjah students Mohammad Z I Abualhuda, Khalid Khairi Al Tamimi, and Ghanem Mohamed Younes for their project Silk Road. The winners were also invited to the unveiling of Christo’s first major installation in ten years, The Floating Piers in Italy in June 2016. Previous winners include Sheikha Maryam bint Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2013, Erin Meekhof from NYU Abu Dhabi in 2014, and Salwa Al Khudairi and Nada Al Mulla, architecture students at the American University of Sharjah, in 2015.

Established in 2012, the Award is designed to encourage the creation of new artwork in the UAE, act as a launch pad for visual artists across the Emirates and offer the winner an insight into professional life as an artist from conception to exhibition. The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award is the only program in the region to support and nurture participants with mentorship and advice from industry professionals.

To apply, entrants must complete an online application form, including a proposed budget, available at

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.