The Alliance Française of Dubai has opened a permanent gallery space at its Oud Metha location and the first show features works by Sheikha Wafa bint Hasher Al Maktoum.
We spoke to the gallery’s director, Bernard Frontero, who has high hopes for the space.
q Why did you decide to open this gallery?
a For a long time we have used the hall of the Alliance to promote artists and showcase their artworks. For the past two years we have renovated our premises in Oud Metha and as we were continuously holding art shows, it became obvious we needed a professional art gallery.
Will it be as a commercial or a non-profit gallery?
The Alliance Française is a non-profit organisation, with a board of benevolent volunteer directors, presided over by Hussain Al Jaziri. Therefore, the gallery will also be non-profit, dedicated to hosting professional art exhibitions and to allow the meeting between French and francophone artists and Emirati artists, which is the goal of the Alliance Française all over the world.
We have more than 3,000 students a year; many business people involved with France are passing by as the French Business Council is our neighbour. It will then be a fantastic development for artists from both countries to showcase their art and passion at La Galerie.
Will you only feature artists based in the UAE or will there be artists from France and Europe showing too?
We will mainly focus on artists from the GCC and France but other countries could be shown in group shows.
That is the case with the next show at La Galerie: it will be in collaboration with Antidote, a French company based in Dubai, and called The Ink Project.
It will present artworks on paper by Nasir Nasrallah from the UAE, Sarah Mumtaz from Pakstian and Joelle Verstraeten from Belgium.