By Tajudeen Sowole
A new director for Art Dubai, Myrna Ayad takes up the challenge of consolidating on Art Dubai's status as a global hub, replacing Antonia Carver.
Ayad's predecessor, Carver gets an appointment of the first Art Jameel Director, heading major development at the event..
A statement from the media unit of Art Dunai explains that Ayad will be working towards the eleventh edition of the fair alongside VIP Relations Director Lela Csáky and International Director Pablo del Val. It however adds that "Carver remains a close advisor to Art Dubai and will serve on the fair’s Board."
For the new director, she is responsible for developing Art Dubai’s programme and the fair’s relationships with collectors, institutions and partners, maintaining and growing Art Dubai’s position as the world’s most global art fair.
“I am overjoyed to be joining Art Dubai which – thanks to the ambitions of Antonia and the team – has become the world’s foremost platform for the art communities of the Middle East and South Asia," says Ayad, new Fair Director at Art Dubai. "Having attended and worked with the fair since 2007, I’m excited by the opportunity to work with the team to build on this success.”
Commenting on the change in leadership, Benedict Floyd, CEO of Art Dubai Group adds: “It is with great regret that we see Antonia depart from Art Dubai, and on behalf of the shareholders and our partners, we would like to acknowledge her dedication and all that’s been achieved to date; thanks to Antonia’s leadership and fantastic team, the future has never looked brighter for Art Dubai." Floyd assures that the next phase of the fair comes with great anticipation under the leadership of Ayad and the management team.
Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1977, Ayad is an independent arts writer, editor and consultant who has been based in the UAE for over thirty years. She has written prolifically for publications including The New York Times, The Art Newspaper, Artsy, Art Forum, Artnet and The National among others, and published books on major collections and art movements in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Previously Editor of Canvas, a leading magazine for art and culture from the Middle East and Arab world where she worked for eight years (2007-2015), Ayad is recognised as one of the Middle East’s leading voices and cultural commentators.
From a regional hub, Art Dubai has grown to become the world’s most global fair, and the leading spot for the Middle East region.
“While I leave with a heavy heart, it’s been an honour to lead the fair for the past six years, and I wanted to thank the Art Dubai team, and all our partners and collaborators, for their extraordinary commitment and support, ' responds Carver who had a better part of the 10 year-old event. "The development of Art Dubai and the strength of its programming has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of the local and regional arts scene, and the increased international recognition for its artists, galleries and institutions." She shaares her thoughts, noting that "there has never been such a palpable engagement from the global arts community in the work being produced by artists emerging and established in the Middle East and South Asia – and we’re really proud of the role played by Art Dubai in this process.”