Calgary arts group takes work on tour to Dubai

Indefinite Arts Centre in Calgary, which provides artistic training and exhibition opportunities for people living with disabilities will have 13 of its artists’ works displayed both in Dubai.

13 pieces will be exhibited at the Dubai International Airport and in Dubai's Historical District

Jung-Suk Ryu is the CEO of Calgary-based Indefinite Arts Centre. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

A group of Calgary artists are getting a rare opportunity to have their work displayed on another continent. 

Indefinite Arts Centre in Calgary, which provides artistic training and exhibition opportunities for people with disabilities will have 13 of its artists' works displayed both in Dubai's Historical District and at one of the world's busiest airports.

"When we think about all of the opportunities that are made available to artists without disabilities, we want to extend those same opportunities to our artists as well," said Jung-Suk Ryu, CEO, Indefinite Arts Centre.

Kathy Austin will have her work on display in Dubai. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

Kathy Austin is one of the artists whose work will be on display in Dubai.

"I have the need to create all the time and I need to express myself," she said.

"It is a bit surreal because I can't quite imagine how it's going to look, but I'm very excited that people are going to see it that wouldn't otherwise."

Indefinite Arts Centre established a partnership with a disability arts organization in Dubai called Mawaheb.

Two Calgary artists have also been chosen to take part in the organization's five-day international residency in Dubai.

The two artists selected, Roby King and Yunsun Lee, will work with Mawaheb and tour art and culture monuments in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Art from Indefinite Arts Centre in Calgary will be going to Dubai. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

"We actually think that they will grow as artists through this experience. This is actually the first time that we are sending artists with disabilities overseas as part of this residency initiative," Ryu said.

Last year, Indefinite Arts Centre was one of the first Canadian disability arts organizations to tour internationally, Ryu said, bringing 30 pieces of art to Hong Kong and Korea.

"The response was absolutely overwhelming, and that actually caught the attention of the Canadian government who had then approached us about what other destinations we could explore to showcase our artists work," Ryu said.

To bring the art to Dubai, Indefinite Arts Centre partnered with Canada Council for the Arts and Global Affairs Canada.


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