Affordable is the buzzword at this art fair
Artworks on display during Galleries Week in Abu Dhabi. The art fair also features a programme of talks, performances and workshops.
Abu Dhabi - With paintings created by professional artists being given out for as low as Dh2,000, everyone can own art collections, according to organisers of the event.
The Capital has opened doors to aspiring art collectors by putting up artworks that are affordable at the the city's annual art fair. The Galleries Week, a week-long event showcasing six galleries, opened to the public on Wednesday at Warehouse421 at Abu Dhabi's Mina Zayed Port. Visitors from across the country have been coming to see the art as well as listen to public talks on how to collect beautiful but affordable artworks.
"These are amazing artworks and the fact that they are being sold at low prices, I think it is a good catch. What you buy today, you can resale 10 times the price after sometime," said Australian expat, Anne Maree Reaney. "I intend to buy at least five art pieces created by Emiratis. I want to take them back home and start my own art collections."
Reaney, who is also an art educator and dean at Zayed University College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, said she loves knowing different cultures and this can be expressed more in artworks. "Prints by Emirati artists, Zeinab Al Hashimi and Fatema Al Mazrouie have impressed me. I have also liked two digital prints from emerging artists. I think expats should come here and get some affordable artworks created by Emiratis so they have what to show when they go back to their home countries."
The 50-year-old Australian said the great thing with collecting art pieces is that it's like an investment.
Art enthusiast Melena K from Australia said she went to the galleries to check on the artworks on display. "I have found their works beautiful and impressing," said the 28-year-old expat. I had come here just to admire the pieces but I think I'm going to buy one. They are really affordable and amazing."
Another visitor, Aisha Khalid, a 24-year-old Emirati, said: "This is a fantastic event. It offers art made in the UAE," said Khalid. "I love art and as a first time collector, there has been much to learn from this event."
With paintings created by professional artists being given out for as low as Dh2,000, everyone can own art collections, according to organisers of the event.
The participating galleries showcase works by emerging artists, offering an opportunity for residents to discover and buy art and engage with the cultural scene in Abu Dhabi through a programme of talks, performances, workshops and film screenings.
Shamma Al Mheiri from the Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation - one of the organisers of the event - said the aim of the event was to filter the selection of art so to make it easier for those looking to start a collection.
"The idea is to present artworks that are more affordable for the people, especially young collectors. We want to show people that anyone can own art pieces and start their own art collections.
"Usually, people are intimidated that artworks are expensive. We want to break this stereotype. We advise people on how to find affordable artworks and encourage them to start their own art collections," Al Mheiri told Khaleej Times.
She said that the artworks on offer at the galleries have prices ranging from Dh2,000 to Dh30,000.
The Galleries Week features local, regional and international galleries: Salwa Zeidan from Abu Dhabi; Cuadro Fine Arts Gallery and Elmarsa from Dubai; and ATHR and Hafez Gallery from Jeddah, along with Galleria Continua from Italy, France, China and Cuba.
The free-entry event runs daily from 4pm to 10pm and galleries will be closed on Monday. Tuesday will be for family workshops with colourful calligraphy and on Wednesday, there will be a film-screening as part of Warehouse421's series.
Start your own collection
> What: The Galleries Week, the annual art fair held at Abu Dhabi
> Where: Warehouse 421, Mina Zayed Port
> When: April 12 to 19