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Ras Al Khaimah | Fine Arts Festival | Photography | NYUAD | Zane Mountcastle | Covered

NYUAD Student’s Artwork Featured at the RAK Fine Arts Festival

Carlos Alberto Escobar, The Gazelle
February 20, 2016

On Feb. 19, the fourth annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival was inaugurated. The Gazelle covered the event as NYU Abu Dhabi sophomore Zane Mountcastle showcased his work at the opening night.

The Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival is an initiative by the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, as a way to fulfill the foundation’s goal to develop and promote culture in the Emirate.

Mountcastle submitted his work in September 2015 to the Al Qasimi Foundation, and was notified later in the semester that his work had been selected to be part of the general exhibition. Earlier this week, Mountcastle was informed that his work had been chosen to be showcased at the opening night. Mountcastle currently studies abroad in London, and flew to Abu Dhabi to present his work.

Mountcastle’s art piece is a black-and-white portrait of another NYUAD student. The photo was shot during a break in the Czech Republic.

“To me, the photo represents a mix of cultures pasted on an ethnically ambiguous frame,” said Mountcastle. “In the context of the UAE today — a nation that is both steadfastly traditional in some ways and racing headlong into ultra modernity in others — the photo becomes a commentary on the mixture of cultures, beliefs and traditions that make up the country.”

“[The festival was established] to bring the [Ras Al Khaimah] community together to celebrate art, create opportunities for cultural exchange and support the creative and artistic sectors of the emirate,” said the Executive Director of the Al Qasimi Foundation Dr. Natasha Ridge.

This year, artists from 30 countries were selected to showcase their work at the festival.

“By bringing artists from all over the world, we can use arts to build bridges and connect cultures, countries and societies,” said Dr. Ridge.

The first Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival was held in 2013, and since then, it has been an ongoing event in Ras Al Khaimah. This year’s festival runs till Feb. 25 at the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah. The cost of a daily pass to the festival is AED 15.

“The Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts festival is a fantastic event highlighting the diverse artistic talent from across the region. It is open to artists of all cultures and nationalities and brings individuals together over a range of artistic mediums. If you havethe opportunity to visit, you should do so,” concluded Mountcastle.