Crowdfunding - Zawiyah Gallery & Studios in Abu Dhabi

Despite the existing number of art institutions, museums and commercial galleries across the UAE, we lack affordable artist studio spaces for artists based in the United Arab Emirates.

The couple of artist studio spaces that come to mind are invite only (Sharjah Art Foundation), not very affordable, especially for artists that don't have a regular income (Tashkeel in Dubai). There is alo Abu Dhabi Art Hub, but I've never visited so can't comment on it.

I often keep hearing of initiatives to provide affordable studio spaces for artists in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but till now have not seen anything come to fruition. So I was glad to see Russell Hamilton, Associate Professor in the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University (Abu Dhabi) and founder/co-partner of Zawiyah Gallery & Studios trying to create this much needed space by launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money.  Hopefully this can trigger similar projects across the UAE.

Zawiyah Gallery & Studios (Zawiyah means a corner or a nook in English) "was born out of a need to provide young talented emerging Emirati artists a space or a “corner/nook” to create, meet, discuss, and exhibit their art" and will be located in The Mina warehouse area in Abu Dhabi.

With limited opportunities for recent art graduates, there was a need for another viable option for these artists, either directly working in Zawiyah studio spaces, exhibiting their work in the gallery, developing and offering creative workshops, establishing internship opportunities, and working on collaborative projects with local community organizations and educational institutions. 

All monies raised will go directly to paying for the build-out costs of the studio spaces and gallery; 11 studios spaces, 1 gallery, arts library, artists wood/metal shop, community space for public arts related workshops/classes, and first year rental costs. 

The studio rental will pay for the warehouse rental in the subsequent years.  If we don't reach our goal, the monies raised will go to paying the rent for the space and further funds will be sought to finish build out. 

Below is a video about the project. Donations start from USD 20 and rewards include a free workshop, acknowledgement as a contributor to name a few. Whether you are an artist in Abu Dhabi that would find tihs space useful for you or part of the art community in the UAE, please support this. Here's the link to read more and to donate: