Art Bahrain

December 8, 2016

Under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King of Bahrain and President of the Supreme Council for Women, Tamkeen proudly announces the launch of ‘Art Bahrain Across Borders’ (Art BAB), an ambitious project of national impact that aims to solidify Bahrain’s position as a regional arts hub, and stimulate investment and economic activity in this flourishing sector. Tamkeen has appointed international art investment and consultancy firm Art Select (a brand of Art and Spice) to manage and execute the initiative which will be held in Bahrain from the 22nd to the 26th of March 2017 at the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre.

Art Bahrain Across Borders (Art BAB) is a culmination of the Kingdom’s recent success stories in the realm of the arts, and builds on the momentum of the last years’ international art exhibition as well as the success of the more recent ‘Bahraini Artists Across Borders’ (BAAB) initiative which was launched at the reputed Victoria and Albert Museum in London in May 2016.

Art BAB is a paradigm of Tamkeen’s new strategic focus which centres on analysing the needs and growth potential of specific sub sectors and providing more tailored solutions to fuel their development. According to Mrs. Amal Al Kooheji, Chief Operating Officer of Tamkeen, “Tamkeen’s new strategy 2015-2017 concentrates on three main pillars; namely customer centricity, quality and impact, and efficiency of services. We aim to take a closer look at the requirements of individual industry sectors and offer customized financial support, advisory and training to enable them to evolve into economic drivers. Tamkeen’s decision to spearhead Art BAB supports our new direction; Bahrain’s art sector is slowly emerging into a viable industry with vast potential to become an engine of economic growth. Until recently this sector did not receive the required attention and through initiatives such as Art BAB, we hope to steer it into new heights, inspiring entrepreneurship, art education and local skills development.”

“We want this exhibition to become a platform for nascent entrepreneurs, budding artists as well as existing galleries and homegrown creatives in Bahrain to showcase their talents to an international audience, learn from the experience of renowned names and equip them with the necessary resources to expand their skills and gain international recognition. We also want to position Bahrain as a prime hub for art and education in the future”, further commented Mrs. Al Kooheji.

Art BAB has been designed to embrace and highlight excellence in the local arts sector while bridging the local and global art communities and providing a stage for learning, engagement and the exchange of ideas. The exhibition will host participants from Bahrain, as well as reputed names from the region and from across the world. Key features will include a BAAB Pavilion exclusive to 30 Bahraini artists whom will be selected by an international jury following submissions; a Gallery Arena to host up to 35 international and Bahraini galleries; an International Artists Pavilion to display the works of participating artists from across the world; and an art book shop and art merchandising and design section. A specially designed art and educational program titled ‘Talks@ArtBAB’ will also run parallel to the exhibition comprising talks by key artists and panel discussions.

Mrs. Kaneka Subberwal, Founder of Art Select, stated “We are extremely proud to be playing an integral part in the realization of this ambitious project and supporting Tamkeen to drive its vision forward. Without doubt, Art BAB will leave a positive imprint in Bahrain’s art sector and help local artists embed themselves within the international arts community and gain recognition. The Middle East art industry is going through a transformation and despite the economic slowdown, we have witnessed positive movement due to the vast talent that exists here. Art BAB is a catalyst to stimulating the local arts scene, encouraging investment and most importantly, helping nurture the next generation of Bahraini artists to take the industry forward.”

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