Art Blog

Discover more about the World Art Dubai Artist in Residency Programme

Paula Blanco takes a moment to enjoy details of her work before the opening of her exhibition, “Tearing of the Earth”, in December of 2021.

If you’re starting to plan your visit to WAD 2023 and want to be wowed by artwork from some of the art scene's most exciting up-and-coming artists, be sure to add the Artist in Residency booth to your itinerary.

Launched in 2020 by 8th Ave. Gallery and Dubai’s art hub hotel, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, the Artist in Residency programme has been designed to inspire and support international artists by giving them the incredible opportunity to live in Dubai and take on a three-month residency at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.

Artists gatherer together for a workshop held at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel to engage other creatives and connect the artist in residency program to the surrounding community.

Selected each year by 8th Ave. Gallery, the artist chosen for the programme is challenged to use Dubai and the Middle Eastern culture as their inspiration to produce a body of work based on their experience living in the city in just 11 weeks. The latest talent to be selected for the third edition of the programme is Polish Artist Dominique Kirk who will get to live, work and create her collection in her very own private studio at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.

New for WAD 2023

Management of the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Andy Cuthbert and Nandana Wirasinha, along with 8th Ave. Gallery’s Director Seth Benzel celebrate the opening reception for the first artist in resident Sabrina Pohl from Stuttgart, Germany.

This year, WAD has partnered with the Artist in Residency programme so even more art fans and collectors can experience and enjoy the artwork created through the initiative. As part of the collaboration, WAD will also host the Artist in Residency booth for the first time ever, so you can meet the artists from the programme during the four-day fair.

The booth will feature the collections created by the two artists who have taken part in the programme since its inception, German Artist, Sabrina Pohl and Spanish Artist Paula Blanco. Not to be missed during your visit to WAD 2023, the works on display will take you on each artist's experimental journeys and will show how they translated and incorporated the colours and shapes of the city into their own individual styles.

Seth Benzel, 8th Ave. Gallery’s Owner and the Artist in Residency Program Director told WAD -
“The artists we select to take part in the programme have never visited Dubai before, making it a great opportunity for them to immerse themselves in the Middle East’s art scene and be inspired by a totally new landscape. It also gives them a new lease of creative freedom to experiment and develop their skills with new concepts and materials. Having a studio in Jumeirah Creekside Hotel and being surrounded by a collection of over 480 incredible works is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

When we asked Seth Benzel about the type of work we can expect to see emerge from the programme he said -
“Seeing the effects that Dubai has on the artist’s work is truly something special. Before the programme, Paula Blanco’s style involved the use of brown, grey and black only to create her signature collages and the body of work she produced on the programme couldn’t have been any different. This use of colour came out of nowhere - she’d never used colour before - and the work she created for her Artist in Residency collection featured a whole spectrum of bright colours and designs that exploded with inspiration from the city.”

The winner of the fourth residency will be awarded to a deserving artist exhibiting at this year’s WAD by Seth Benzel, 8th Ave. Gallery’s Owner and the Program Director. The artist selected for the October 2023 residency will be officially announced on 12th March at the World Art Dubai award ceremonies.

Tickets are now on sale for WAD 2023. Get yours here