Art Jameel has adapted its commissioning programme to support digital arts this year, in response to how people are engaging amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Saudi Arabian family foundation started an annual Commissions series two years ago to support artists from the Middle East and North Africa in creating new works, with a focus on a different medium every year.

The new Art Jameel Commissions: Digital will award an artist or a group of artists $7,500 (Dh27,500). Recipients will be chosen via an open call, and completed artworks will be added to the Art Jameel collection.

This year’s medium was slated to be Drawing and Painting, before the foundation pivoted towards digital artworks.

“Along with serving diverse communities across the UAE, Jameel Arts Centre has a long-term focus on engaging with audiences beyond its physical location, aware that for many in the Middle East and South Asia, travel can be a luxury,” says Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel. “And as we all know, 2020 is sadly proving to be a year where many artists and arts institutions find themselves ‘on pause’, while audiences are more reliant than ever on engaging with art and with each other online.

This commission allows us to address these realities,” Carver continues, “while also encouraging artists to challenge existing concepts of digital art, the impact of our daily online lives and the temporal nature of the human experience.”

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