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Proud to present the Jury Members of The Art Circle Awards 2023


Manal Ataya is a museum professional with 20 years of senior level experience & expertise in museum development, cultural heritage management and cultural diplomacy. She became the founding Deputy Director of Sharjah Museums Authority (established by the HH Ruler of Sharjah in 2006) for 2 years before being promoted to the Director General in 2008, overseeing a team of over 700 staff working in Sharjah’s network of 16 museums. The museums include dedicated collections of modern and contemporary Arab art, Islamic Art, Gulf heritage, Science, Marine life and UAE archaeology. In her new role as Adviser for Museums to HH Ruler of Sharjah, Ataya will support and advise on strategic planning, cultural policies and lead on new museum projects. 

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Dr. Nina Heydemann is currently the director of the Maraya Art Centre and the 1971 - Design Space in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Established in 2010, the Maraya Art Centre is a non-profit art space with a focus on emerging and established artists. The 1971 - Design Space, launched in Sharjah in 2015, is a non-profit platform for local as well as international designers. 

Before her appointment, Dr. Nina Heydemann worked as the Senior Manager – Visual Arts heading the Department of Visual Arts at the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) in Abu Dhabi from 2014-2018. She received her PhD degree in Art History from the University of Leipzig, Germany, and the University College London (UCL), United Kingdom.

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Faisal Al Hassan is the Director of 421, a leading arts organization in the region that nurtures emerging creative practitioners and facilitates artistic exchange through exhibitions, learning, research, and commissions. Since its establishment in 2015, Faisal has led 421’s strategy, programming, and community-driven initiatives, and has developed key institutional partnerships in the UAE and internationally. Prior to his role at 421, Al Hasan was the Programs Manager at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, and part of cultural projects such as Manarat Al Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn Festival, and Abu Dhabi Art. 
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Dr. Alain Baron

Doctor in Numismatics from the university of Vienna 

Founder of Numismatica Genevensis.

Organizer of the coin exhibition at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque , in collaboration with the office of HH Sheikha Fatima, Mother of the Nation.


The Art Circle Board represented by its artistic director Noor Al Suwaidi.

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.

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