Sharjah: With a focus on enriching the university’s creative and cultural environment, American University of Sharjah (AUS) launched its Artist-in-Residence program at a special ceremony on campus in the presence of Her Excellency Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of AUS.

The Artist-in-Residence program will bring both established and emerging artists from around the world to AUS, providing them with a supportive environment to expand their creative practices and engage with the university community. The artists in residence will conduct workshops, performances, demonstrations and guest lectures, open to both the AUS community and the public. They will also mentor students, collaborate on scholarly projects and participate in critiquing student work.

‘AUS puts a premium on real-life experiences that reinforce and animate what happens in the lecture halls, studies, and libraries. Like mentorship, when our students encounter our resident artists face-to-face, it will create moments of human interaction that transcend the theoretical and etch themselves in the memories of our students. We’re very excited to welcome our first artists, whose expertise in music, literature, and the visual arts will be a huge asset to many students,’ said Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi.

Dr. Tod Laursen, Chancellor of AUS, introduced the program and welcomed the inaugural Artists-in-Residence Fatima Al Hashmi, an opera singer and artist who will join the AUS Performing Arts Program and is known for her innovative approaches to music and performance; Dr. Afra Atiq, a poet, scholar and teaching artist with expertise in Arabic, English and French poetry, who will engage with both the Department of English and the Department of Arabic and Translation Studies at AUS; and Dr. Najat Makki, a pioneering Emirati visual artist, who will work with the College of Architecture, Art and Design to inspire and mentor budding creatives.

Through the program, AUS students and faculty will benefit from various creative activities and interdisciplinary collaborations with the selected artists. The artists will benefit from access to the vibrant community of AUS students and faculty, as well as university resources.

“The Artist-in-Residence program is a testament to AUS' commitment to promoting creativity and innovation. We believe that the presence of diverse artistic talents on campus will inspire our students and faculty, and enhance the cultural fabric of our university,” said Chancellor Laursen.

During the event, the Artist-in-Residence shared their talent and creativity. Dr. Makki presented three of her paintings, each exhibiting her perspective and artistic expression. Dr. Atiq captivated the audience with a poem, sharing her thoughts and emotions through her words. Al Hashimi gave a voice and piano performance.


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