About Us

"Art is a line around your thoughts", The Art Circle thrives for this quote by Gustav Klimt.


Founded and directed by Barbara Farahnick-Mathonet in 2018, the Art Circle is a network of international art collectors and art passionate women based in the UAE. It is a non-profit organization that aims to promote arts, artists and institutions from or in connection with the MENASA region.


By membership only, it aspires to develop and grow a circle of likeminded women, passionate and involved in arts, and build hand-in-hand an art lover community. Through a variety of activities such as private visits to exhibitions, artists’ studios, art collections as well as art trips, talks and webinars, it seeks to promote the appreciation of art, nurture artistic growth and encourage conversation.


While adherence to the group is by membership only, events are regularly opened to non-members as the purpose of art remains to open the conversation with the rest of the world.


Welcome to the Art Circle!

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Meet the Team
Board Members
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Barbara Farahnick-Mathonet is the Founder and President of the Board of The Art Circle.

Since 2017, she is an ambassador for Abu Dhabi Art which expands beyond the notion of a traditional art fair, in placing strong emphasis on a diverse public engagement and events that take place in different locations throughout the year.

Before that she worked for more than 20 years for Chanel France cosmetics as a regional Sales Manager. Previously, she worked for Estee Lauder as a Sales Manager for 3 years.

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Lina was very excited about the idea of forming this wonderful club with enthusiasts like herself.


The art world always fascinated her albeit unrelated to her studies. Lina has a degree in English literature and a certificate in business administration.

Nonetheless, her infatuation led her to take different courses related to art. She has been collecting art pieces for over 25 years now, and what makes her home different are these elements of memorabilia that she makes sure to acquire and collect during her frequent travels...


An Emirati holding a BA in Business Administration from the United Arab Emirates University in 1987 and a Masters in Contemporary Islam from Zayed University, in 2013.


She is the Founder and Chairwoman of Al Multaqa Literary Salon since 1998.  She also launched numerous social, cultural and humanitarian initiatives and has made outstanding contributions to fundraising for affected countries.

Asma is a member of several local, regional and international institutions, and initiated the publications of Al Multaqa Literary Salon and published


Hoda Fouad Chahine, Lebanese, a. graduate from the American University of Beirut with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Public Health.


She lives in Abu Dhabi for more than forty years.

Her career life was very far from art. She joined the Ministry of Health and worked as a public Health Consultant for more than three decades. She witnessed throughout her career major changes in the development of the health care delivery system.


María José R. Escolar is a Spanish artist. She has a Degree in Fine Arts (University of Salamanca, Spain). She completed her formation in The Netherlands (Rijksakademie van Beeldenden Kunsten, Amsterdam) and in Belgium (Institut Wallon de Formation IFAPME, Namur). In the last 25 years she has lived in China, Syria, Morocco, Belgium, Gabon and Spain. She is currently living and working in Abu Dhabi (UAE).

María José began her career in 1989 and has featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Spain, Germany,

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After graduating with a Licence in Business Management (Université de Geneve), Nada followed her real passion. She enrolled in a year course of modern art history at Christies London and interior design studies at Chelsea College of Art before co-founding her interior design company, DN Designs Ltd. in 1992, and later DN Designs Collection Ltd for a range of home accessories.


Her love and passion for art and design led her to join the Art Circle as a member and lately as a Board member in Abu Dhabi.




Vincent Larnicol is a French art collector who was born in a family of artists, art dealers and collectors. He is also the co-producer of the Japanese film CUT selected at the Venice Biennale 2011 and runs the International development of Chargeurs group, world leader in Museum scenography.

Passionate character who regularly publishes his art "coup de coeur" on his Instagram page @carillonart