Art Jameel and Delfina Foundation announce a significant new partnership

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Art Jameel and Delfina Foundation announce a significant new partnership
Cooking Sections, Cases of Confusion, Stirring the Pot of Story, 2015. Photo Sylvain Deleu, Courtesy Delfina Foundation.

DUBAI.- Art Jameel and Delfina Foundation announced that they are entering into a significant new partnership, extending the international reach of both organisations, and developing new programming and residency initiatives. The collaboration marks a major new chapter for both organisations, with Art Jameel set to open two new art centres in 2018-2019 and Delfina Foundation looking to both secure and expand its current mandate more broadly.

By aligning networks, both organisations will be able to maximise their reach and impact. Art Jameel will have access to Delfina Foundation’s expertise in running artists’ residencies, and its accompanying network; Delfina Foundation will be able to harness the strategic thinking behind Art Jameel and its sister organisation Community Jameel, to expand the London organisation’s work exploring the relationship between the arts and social change.

The partnership entails sharing expertise and strategies across the two organisations. Aaron Cezar, the director of Delfina Foundation, has been appointed as Senior Advisor at Art Jameel, working at large across curatorial, educational and residency planning, collection building, advocacy and organisational development. Meanwhile, Fady Jameel, President of Art Jameel, will join Delfina Foundation’s board of trustees and, with Art Jameel director Antonia Carver, will contribute to shaping Delfina Foundation’s future over the next few years.

“We have long admired the work of Delfina Foundation and its founder, Delfina Entrecanales, who has nurtured artists for more than 30 years; their base at Catherine Place is a home-from-home for artists in London, particularly those from the Middle East,” said Fady Jameel, President, Art Jameel. “Art Jameel shares with Delfina Foundation an ethos that is artist-centric and that is committed to the exceptional power of the arts to generate ideas and facilitate exchange – between practitioners, between artists and audiences, and between contrasting disciplines and schools of thought. Art Jameel has always worked in collaboration with like-minded organisations to create opportunities for artists from the Middle East; this major new partnership marks a truly exciting new chapter for both organisations.”

Delfina Entrecanales CBE, Founding Patron of Delfina Foundation, said: “Although the organisation carries my name, Delfina Foundation was never a vanity project, it was set up as an initiative to develop support and infrastructure to nurture cultural practices. Through residencies for artists, curators, and recently collectors, Delfina Foundation has worked tirelessly to develop the wider arts eco-system. Our director Aaron Cezar has had autonomy to shape the organisation and our board of trustees have supported his vision. All along I have encouraged collaboration. I have always admired Art Jameel’s own ambitions and its profound engagement in the arts. This major partnership aligns our shared values and aspirations, while recognising each organisation’s future goals.”

Delfina Foundation is London's largest provider of international residencies, hosting 40 artists and practitioners each year. The Foundation launched in 2007 with an initial focus on the Middle East and North Africa. It expanded its remit internationally in recent years by concentrating on themes such as its popular programmes on performance, food, and public space.

Based in Dubai and Jeddah, Art Jameel’s programmes range from heritage preservation and traditional arts institutes through to contemporary art exhibitions and commissions. Research and learning opportunities are central to the organisation’s mandate; initiatives include specialist youth programming, building in-centre libraries and archives, as well as public talks, workshops and seminars. Art Jameel foregrounds collaboration: major long-term international partners include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, both based in the UK.

Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, opening later this year, offers opportunities for research and writers’ residencies, while Hayy: Creative Hub – Art Jameel’s major complex in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, opening 2019 – includes artists’ studios, alongside galleries, performance spaces, a theatre, digital studio and more.

Building on the success of ‘Plan for Feminist Greater Baghdad’, the solo exhibition by Ala Younis that is simultaneously being held in Dubai and London, Art Jameel and Delfina Foundation will partner on discrete projects including co-commissions, exhibitions, and events.

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