The reason why this time it is me who signs this letter intended to welcome you at the beginning of a new season and to present the very interesting activities that we have scheduled for the coming months is that I want to avail myself of this opportunity to say farewell to all of you.
Much to my regret, a good part of these activities I will not be able to enjoy with you since the time has come for me to move on, and after just over 4 years living in Abu Dhabi I have to say goodbye to the UAE. Of course, I will miss a city and a country where I have enjoyed so much, but most of all I will miss the people with whom I have lived and enjoyed so many beautiful things and who will always be in my heart. Time passes quickly, but we are left with our shared memories, our projects, and the finished works.
I am enormously proud to have been part from its very beginning of this marvelous adventure called The Art Circle. When in early 2018, only a few months after I had landed in Abu Dhabi, Barbara asked me to join this project I could not imagine how big this would become. Thanks to the Circle I met Hoda, Lina, Sylvie, Nada, Asma... and thanks to them I discovered the wealth of this cosmopolitan country, so special and different. I want to thank of all you for all that I have received.
As an artist, The Art Circle has allowed me to get to know other artists living in the UAE and to get acquainted with their work from very close up by visiting not only their exhibitions but also their ateliers. I have even had the privilege of sharing artistic projects with some of these artists, such as the exhibition The Rhythm of Patterns (May 2021), in which I collaborated with local artist Najat Maki and other international artists.
The Art Circle has also allowed me, through the webinars we have developed during these months of pandemic, to open my knowledge to the artistic richness of this region of the world, so unknown to many of us.
There is, no doubt, a feeling of sadness at this time of leaving but this feeling is overwhelmed by the happiness that living in this country and meeting its wonderful people have brought me and also by the satisfaction with all the work I have done here and the fact that most of it will remain here, in private collections or in Foundations like ADMAF or Maraya Permamnet Collection.
I'm leaving but I'm still with you. I intend to remain an active member of The Art Circle and I'll continue from Spain collaborating, enjoying and learning with all of you. Art knows no borders. As Gustav Klimt put it, "Art is a line around your thoughts”, and The Art Circle will remain in my thoughts.
Thank you very much to all of you.
Hasta la vista
MARIA JOSE R. ESCOLAR
Founding Member & Artistic Director of The Art Circle
Letter from our member Alina de la Cruz El Solh
My name is Alina de la Cruz El Solh and I am a proud member of the Art Circle since its inception in 2018. Art can be an individual or a collective experience and the Art Circle does an excellent job at making its members feel the benefit of a being part of a close knit structured organization.
Highlights of my membership have been meeting artists and first visits to artist studios. Our very own member María José R. Escolar presenting at “The Rhythm of Patterns” and at the Jameel Art Museum in 2021. We had a memorable trip to Al Ula Desert X in February 2020 just before the pandemic caused us all to slow down. Our group continued to meet online with interesting lectures like the Museum of Banco Santander talk.
I have always been interested in art because my parents are passionate about art. My parents opened a non profit museum for their art collection in Miami. In 2009, Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz built a museum in Miami's Design District to share their contemporary art collection as an extension of their home. The de la Cruz Collection is admission free. It provides lectures and annual scholarships for students at DASH and NWSA. We hope to make a trip to Miami one day for Art Basel Miami with the Art Circle.
Thank you Barbara for the initiative to create a non profit organization to enrich our days with art in person, online and abroad.
Best wishes for 2021,