Cultural office announces 2017 Sheikha Manal Little Artists program at Art Dubai

Natalie Hanson   |   15-03-2017

The Cultural Office of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in partnership with Art Dubai has announced the fifth and largest edition of the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program.


Left: Mona Bin Kalli, Director of Cultural Office; Right: Suzan Drummen, Lead Artist of the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program 2017

The program offers a unique educational opportunity for UAE-based children and teenagers, encouraging them to excel in the arts. The program is part of Art Dubai’s longstanding commitment to education and the development of the UAE’s cultural landscape.

Taking place at Madinat Jumeirah during the eleventh edition of Art Dubai, March 15-18, the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program, thanks to last year’s success, has expanded its program to accommodate more than double the number of last year’s participants.

The program will feature Expanding Treasures, a project by this year’s lead artist, Amsterdam-based Suzan Drummen, who will be joined by a group of UAE-based apprentice artists and designers looking to specialize in children’s art education. The workshops will see families and children work together to create a large-scale temporary installation on-site at the fair, inspired by patterns, colours and eye-catching materials. The project will be held in 16 sessions that will accommodate 30 students each and will allow the participants to tap into their creative potential. Due to last year’s interest, the capacity of each group, in both the activities, has almost doubled in size this year.

During the 4-day event, the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program will also feature 16 discovery tours led by international artist: Noor Danielle Murteza, Rania Jishi and Melissa Paul.

“The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program is a key initiative by Her Highness Sheikha Manal and part of her Highness’ strong commitment to developing art education for children and teenagers in the UAE,” said Mona Bin Kalli, Director of The Cultural Office. “We are delighted to work with Suzan Drummen this year, who will bring collaboration of families and children into her educational program and use her multi-disciplinary background to help them work together in creating an art installation on-site at Art Dubai.”

Lead artist Suzan Drummen commented: “I work with a variety of opalescent, colourful materials, including crystals, chromed metal, precious stones, mirrors and optical glass to create dazzling artworks that aim to challenge and intensify the viewer’s visual perception and experience. My goal for the newly launched “Expanding Treasures” program is for families to work together to create a sensory installation as well as to give children the opportunity to explore their creative potential.

For the first time, this year’s edition of the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program will also feature daily drop-in workshops. These additional sessions will allow more people to experience the program and join without requiring prior sign-up. One drop-in workshop will take place each public day for the duration of 2 hours.

The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program continues to grow further as it sees its Artists in Schools Initiative giving exclusive opportunity to selected schools to experience workshops on campus.

The eleventh edition of Art Dubai takes place March 15-18, 2017 at the Madinat Jumeirah.