December 3, 2021
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Middle East Institute
1763 N Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036 (Map)

Image: Alaa Edris, States, 2016. Digital C print, 65 x 90 cm, series of 7.
Courtesy of the artist. 

The Middle East Institute Arts and Culture Center cordially invites you to an exclusive, invitation-only, in-person panel marking the opening of Between the Sky and the Earth: Contemporary Art from the UAE on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates. 

Curated by Abu Dhabi-based independent curator, Munira al Sayegh, in partnership with The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, the exhibition features twelve artists reflecting the diverse contemporary art ecosystem in the UAE today. With roots in the Gulf, the Levant, Southeast Asia, and the United States, the artists - all of whom call the UAE home - challenge standard narratives about the Emirates through an intergenerational dialogue exploring their social, cultural, and natural landscapes.

The panel features curator Munira Al Sayegh and participating artists Hashel Al Lamki and Solimar Miller. They'll be in conversation with Maya Allison, executive director and chief curator of The New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, about the works and vision for the exhibit as well as the broader arts scene in the UAE.

This panel is limited to the first 50 registrants due to social distancing considerations. Masks are required inside. 



Born in the UAE, artist Hashel Al Lamki has experienced not only the rapid industrial and architectural growth of Dubai and the rest of the Emirates, but also the cultural complexities and dynamics that came as a result of the development boom across the UAE. 

Munira Al Sayegh is an independent curator and cultural instigator based in the United Arab Emirates. She is the founder of Dirwaza Curatorial lab, an Abu Dhabi-based creative incubator and projects partner. Al Sayegh is a published author and prominent voice in the region on the importance of non-institutional thinking to build regional art movements from the bottom-up. 

Solimar Miller is a textile designer, artist, and printmaker. Nature is an inspiration and a subject of importance for Solimar, whose interest in trees and flora has led to works influenced by ecological elements that are changing in the current landscape. Having lived in Dubai for over twenty years, her focus has been on documenting the infinite beauty of the region’s indigenous and naturally thriving tree species.


Maya Allison is Chief Curator at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), and founding Executive Director of The Art Gallery at New York University Abu Dhabi. She is also Curator of the National Pavilion of the UAE to Venice for 2022. Previous posts include curatorial roles at Brown University and The RISD Museum. She also directed the annual international new media showcase Pixilerations, all in Providence, Rhode Island (USA). 


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