Having joined Art Dubai in 2016 after the departure of previous fair director Antonia Carver, Dubai-based Lebanese arts journalist, editor and a director of Art Dubai, Myrna Ayad has announced that she will be moving on. With a continued ethos of placing importance on legacy and impact, Ayad shares that she has always been passionate about cultural development in the region, and reveals intentions to initiate a consultancy, where projects may range from publishing to helping brands, organisations and individuals develop cultural strategies.
“I’ve been here all of my life, and worked as an arts practitioner for almost 20 years now,” says Ayad, whose time as a director, along with eight years as editor of Canvas, granted perspective on the UAE art landscape. Reaffirming the impact that Art Dubai has had on her, both before and during her capacity as a director, Ayad in turn contributed to the fair alongside Art Dubai’s “great team.”
As part of the Art Dubai group, she helped establish new accomplishments and introductions that included presenting the most international global fair to date with 105 galleries from 48 countries, and revitalising the Modernist scene through an increased Modern fair sector, the 2017 introduction of the Modern Symposium, and the addition of the non-selling Modernist exhibition That Feverish Leap into the Fierceness of Life. “It augmented the visitor experience to Modern,” says Ayad. “We offered a gallery hall and symposium, but also an experience through learning about the Modern movements of five Arab cities across 60 years, which is very profound and historical and was conceived by two phenomenal curators, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath.” Ayad also partook in the initiation of the invited collectors and curators programmes, which attracted a different energy to the fair.
“We are all very grateful to Myrna for her contribution as a director of the fair," said Benedict Floyd, CEO of the Art Dubai Group. "In particular, she was pivotal in the success of the Art Dubai Modern Symposium which she launched and which was a great addition to the modern programme. We will be announcing a number of new additions to the fair, both in terms of programme and team structure over the coming weeks and months.”
This past week Art Dubai announced changes to its gallery sections. "This includes Art Dubai Modern moving to the contemporary section, an expanded Residents programme that we launched last year, and new gallery section called Bawwaba that is open to galleries representing established and emerging artists from or focused on a discourse about the Middle East, Africa, Central and South Asia or Latin America," said Pablo Del Val, Art Dubai's Artistic Director.
Details on the new director of the fair are yet to be released.