MFA student Fabiola Chiminazo graduated in visual arts at FAAP - S\\u00E3o Paulo, Brazil and has lived in the UAE since 2017. Image Courtesy: at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)
MFA student Fabiola Chiminazo graduated in visual arts at FAAP – São Paulo, Brazil and has lived in the UAE since 2017. Image Courtesy: at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)

Titled Open Studios, the event will take place on November 18 at The Arts Center and is open to the public

Press Release

November 9, 2022


Abu Dhabi, UAE: The Arts and Humanities Division at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) will host Open Studios – an event showcasing work-in-progress art pieces by ten students from the University’s Master of Fine Arts in Art and Media program (MFA) and five from the VisArt Capstone.

Taking place on November 18 at The Arts Center, the public event will feature an extensive variety of art forms from painting and drawing, sculpture, printmaking, fiber arts, to video, photography, and mixed media. The works address a wide range of themes in postcolonialism, mysticism, nature and the cosmos, vulnerability, patterns of human behavior, time and degradation, language and identity, childhood memories, utopia, and humans’ intimate relationship to objects. 

MFA Program Director and Visiting Associate Professor of Art and Art History at NYUAD Tina Sherwell said: “It is not very often that the public has the opportunity to experience the process behind the making of an artwork. To that end, we are very excited to welcome our visitors and give them a chance to speak to our artists as they present their works in progress.”

MFA students include Sara Alahbabi, Mahra Alfalahi, Liane Al Ghusain, Majd Alloush, Ciel Arbour-Boehme, Fatima Al Romaithi, Fabiola Chiminazzo, Elizabeth Dorazio, Zara Mahmood, and Farah Soltani Shirazi. Capstone students include Lincoln Adomako, Joanna Jagodzinska, Ilia Kuchuk, Boby Liu, and Tonia Zang.

NYUAD’s MFA is a two-year degree in the visual arts. It is designed as a full-time, interdisciplinary studio art program that sits at the crossroads of practice and theory, tradition and change in the arts. The program immerses students in contemporary research and art practices while training them to become deep thinkers and artistic innovators. Courses emphasize artistic experimentation within a context of theoretical, cultural, and historical study. Its multidisciplinary coursework bridges disciplinary skills and diverse bodies of knowledge.

The cultural traditions and heritage of the UAE, along with its burgeoning place as a global art center, make field-based learning an important component of the MFA program. In the context of graduate studies, the intensification and depth of practices from field-based learning help build new art communities and connections that emanate outward from the Emirates to the world. This unique cultural mix demonstrates a complexity that is addressed throughout the MFA program which positions itself at the global crossroads of knowledge and practices.

Throughout the program, students will have access to local stakeholders and institutions, including Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi Art, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah Art Foundation, Art Jameel and AlSerkal Avenue. Students also have the opportunity to receive studio visits from a wide roster of prominent curators and artists.

The application deadline is January 15, 2023.

Event: Open Studios
Exhibition Date: November 18
Time: 3-7pm
Location: The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (C3 basement)
Admission: Free
Link to page:

Artists’ biographies

Sara Alahbabi

Alahbabi is an Emirati artist and art educator. She is now in her first year at the Master of Fine Arts in Art and Media at NYU Abu Dhabi. Her research and conceptual-led arts practice explores themes of post-colonialism, Eurocentric influences in the Arab world, language and identity.

Mahra Alfalahi

Alfalahi is an Emirati artist based in Abu Dhabi, currently in her second year at the Master of Fine Arts in Art & Media at NYU Abu Dhabi. She is a textile and installation artist with a multimedia background in painting and printmaking. Her main concept interests are related to memories, childhood, imagination, utopia, and surrealism.

Majd Alloush

Alloush is a Syrian artist whose work spans multiple disciplines including printmaking, sculpture, photography, moving image, installation and performance. His creative practice challenges the notion of borders in concept, content, and medium, by exploring geopolitics, and social and environmental issues.

Ciel Arbour-Boehme

Arbour-Boehme is a painter, researcher and social practitioner currently in her first year of the NYUAD MFA program. She works across physical and digital disciplines with performance art, sculpture, research and data, abstract expressionism, new technologies, and transmedia. Arbour-Boehme’s practice is informed by life-long immersion in performance art and by her fascination with patterns of human behavior.

Fatima Al Romaithi

In 2020, Al Romaithi obtained a Bachelors of Art in Art and Art History and a minor in Engineering from NYUAD. Her desire for personal and professional growth led her back to NYUAD to pursue a higher education and is currently a first year MFA student. Her practice is 2D-based, using graphite and charcoal to capture expressive and vulnerable moments in time.

Fabiola Chiminazzo

Chiminazzo graduated in visual arts at FAAP – São Paulo, Brazil and has lived in the UAE since 2017. Her research includes painting, photography, drawing, objects, and installations. Her work was shown in exhibitions throughout Brazil and UAE including University of Campinas Gallery; Paço das Artes – USP -SP; Centre Adamastor – Guarulhos – SP, and Warehouse 421- Abu Dhabi. Chiminazzo’s work is part of the MACS – Museum of Contemporary Arts of Sorocaba collection. She is currently pursuing an MFA at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Elizabeth Dorazio

Dorazio lives and works in the United Arab Emirates and Brazil, with an art practice that deploys drawing, collage, woodwork, and installation to explore the mysteries of human relations to nature and the cosmos. She studied visual arts at the Fundação Escola Guignard bh in Brazil, subsequently trained in ancient Italian art techniques at the Istituto per L’arte e Il Ristauro, Florence, with additional training at the Abendschule, Städelschule in Germany.

Zara Mahmood

Mahmood is a Pakistani artist based in Dubai. She is currently exploring themes of time, density and degradation in a practice predominantly steeped in drawing. Her first institutional solo show was held recently at Maraya Art Centre (Sharjah, 2022).

Liane Al Ghusain

Liane Al Ghusain is a Palestinian-Kuwaiti artist and writer who previously studied post-colonial and feminist literature at Stanford University. She works primarily as a textile artist experimenting with a number of forms including video, embroidery, sculpture, and text. In her second year at the NYUAD MFA she is currently exploring ways to preserve memories and impressions from her first visit to Palestine.

Farah Soltani Shirazi

As a young artist, Soltani began her practice in the field of visual arts. By searching through everyday objects in corners of the houses and later on in cities; Soltani looks for clues, which bring attention to human relationship with material things. Soltani explores how objects bring together intellectual and emotional associations that expose our relationship with others, ourselves and surroundings. She also sheds light on how things become a possible identification or an extension of ourselves or an event that reflects the past and gives meaning to the future of our lives.


About NYU Abu Dhabi 

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective program with majors in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, arts, and humanities with a world center for advanced research. Its campus enables students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world, and to advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from some 120 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU’s campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents. 


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