Tashkeel launches scholarship fund for UAE-based art and design practitioners

Tashkeel has announced the inaugural recipients of its new scholarship fund for UAE-based creative professionals with the aim of bolstering their practice and contributing to the development and diversification of the country’s cultural sector.

The Tashkeel Scholarship Fund is an extension of the Tashkeel’s ongoing initiatives to aid, nurture and mentor art and design practitioners in the UAE. Launching this month, the fund will provide funding for tuition fees, enabling selected practitioners to pursue postgraduate studies in visual art and design either nationally or internationally. Open to Tashkeel alumni and members, the Fund will call for submissions every two years.

The recipients of the inaugural 2021-2023 Tashkeel Scholarship Fund are Alia Bin Omair, Lina Ghalib and Faissal El Malak.

Faissal El Malak: Since establishing his fashion label, the Palestinian-Canadian creative has continued to expand his practice into a broad range of arts-based mediums. He will embark on the MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University of London in September 2021. With notable alumni including Lucian Freud, Yinka Shonibare, Bridget Riley and Damien Hirst, this highly sought-after fine arts programme offers a unique blend of studio practice, theoretical and art-historical training. “My membership at Tashkeel for the past five years has been an essential factor in my growth as a designer and now as an artist. It has allowed me to connect with the creative fabric of the UAE and truly find a home in Dubai. Tashkeel's generosity allowed the acquisition of two pieces by the V&A making me the first Palestinian fashion designer to enter their collection. I am now so proud to be the first recipient of the Tashkeel Scholarship Fund to further my knowledge and push the boundaries of my practice at the prestigious MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths in London to start in September 2021. I look forward to coming back after my studies to contribute to Tashkeel's mission of growing the creative community within the institution and in the UAE.” says Faissal El Malak

Lina Ghalib: Since graduating with a degree in Interior Architecture at the American University of Sharjah in 2017, Lina has been working as an interior and product designer in the UAE. A Tashkeel member since 2019, she completed the Tanween design programme at Tashkeel with the worldwide debut of her arish bench-seat ‘Yereed’ at Dubai Design Week 2020. In September, she will embark on a Master’s degree in Interior Design at Savannah College of Art and Design, USA. " I am truly humbled by the amount of support I am receiving from Tashkeel ever since joining the Tanween programme. It is as though they are my second home. I am honoured to be chosen for this Scholarship Fund. I intend to do my best on a daily basis as my small way of thanking Sheikha Lateefa bint Maktoum and the Tashkeel team for their ongoing generosity. This is, with the will of God, the next step in forging a successful design career." – Lina Ghalib

Alia Bin Omair: A member of Tashkeel since 2014, the Emirati jewellery designer and maker works with different materials and objects from around the UAE, developing collections and commissions for both private individuals and public entities. Winner of the Expo2020 / Art Jameel Sabeel drinking fountain design competition with Faissal El Malak, Alia has presented her work at London Design Festival, Dubai Design Week, and Milan Design Week. In September, she will embark on a two-year MFA in Contemporary Jewellery at the prestigious Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School in Florence, Italy. "I am honoured to be one of the recipients of the Tashkeel Scholarship Fund, and appreciate the generous support that will enable me to further my practice and career." – Alia Bin Omair

"Since Tashkeel opened its doors in 2008, our mission has been to empower and enable art and design practitioners who call the UAE home and established their careers here. By investing in their professional development, we not only nurture them but also build a legacy of skills, knowledge and expertise that shall benefit the UAE art and design sector in years to come. The Tashkeel Scholarship Fund compliments our existing portfolio of initiatives that include the Critical Practical programme and the Tanween design programme. We are deeply committed to furthering the careers of creatives in the UAE by supporting their postgraduate education in various visual art and design disciplines. We want them to push their own boundaries and return full of the knowledge and tools to inspire and support others through follow-up teaching opportunities at Tashkeel.” says Lisa Ball-Lechgar, the deputy director of Tashkeel.

The next call for applicants will take place March-May 2023. For more information about the terms and conditions and how to apply, contact tashkeel@tashkeel.org with the subject header ‘Tashkeel Scholarship Fund’. Applicants need to have been a valid member of Tashkeel for at least a year or an alumnus of the Critical Practice programme or Tanween design programme to participate. They must be able to demonstrate how the postgraduate study will contribute to their practice and add value to the UAE art and design scene. Scholarships will be awarded for a specific programme and will be cover, in whole or part, tuition fees that will be paid by Tashkeel to the specified educational institution. Scholarship recipients will also commit to specific teaching opportunities at Tashkeel following the successful completion of their studies.