Art Jameel, with outlets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, marks Delfina Foundation’s first major strategic partner and a marked extension of reach for both organisations. Collaborating across knowledge sharing as well as special programming, a series of new exhibitions and residency programmes are due to arise in London, Jeddah, Dubai, and possibly more locations, to be determined at a later date.
In a statement, the new pairing will see Art Jameel gain access to the Delfina Foundation’s expertise in running residencies and its international network, while Delfina Foundation will employ the strategic thinking behind Art Jameel and its sister organisation, Community Jameel, in order to more deeply explore the relationship between the arts and social change. “Although the organisation carries my name, Delfina Foundation was never a vanity project, it was set up as an initiative to develop support and infrastructure to nurture cultural practices,” shared founding patron Delfina Entrecanales CBE of her organisation in a statement, which currently is London’s largest provider of artist residencies.
“Through residencies for artists, curators, and recently collectors, Delfina Foundation has worked tirelessly to develop the wider arts eco-system. Our director Aaron Cezar has had autonomy to shape the organisation and our board of trustees has supported his vision. All along I have encouraged collaboration. I have always admired Art Jameel’s own ambitions and its profound engagement in the arts. This major partnership aligns our shared values and aspirations, while recognising each organisation’s future goals.
Aaron Cezar, Delfina Foundation director, will be appointed as Art Jameel’s senior advisor involved in curatorial, educational and organisational development, while from Art Jameel, president Fady Jameel will join the foundation’s board of trustees. Along with Art Jameel director Antonia Carver, they will help shape the organisation’s coming years. “We have long admired the work of Delfina Foundation and its founder, Delfina Entrecanales, who has nurtured artists for more than 30 years; their base at Catherine Place is a home-from-home for artists in London, particularly those from the Middle East,” said Jameel in a statement following the announcement.
“Art Jameel shares with Delfina Foundation an ethos that is artist-centric and that is committed to the exceptional power of the arts to generate ideas and facilitate exchange – between practitioners, between artists and audiences, and between contrasting disciplines and schools of thought. Art Jameel has always worked in collaboration with like-minded organisations to create opportunities for artists from the Middle East; this major new partnership marks a truly exciting new chapter for both organisations.”
While Delfina Foundation has recently expanded it’s previously Middle Eastern and North African-focused remit, which features popular performance, food and public-spaced oriented programmes, Dubai and Jeddah-based Art Jameel emphasises heritage preservation and traditional arts through contemporary exhibitions and commissions, complemented by research and learning opportunities through archives and public programming, as well as existing partnerships with institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.