My Art Guide Dubai & Sharjah 2017 Editorial Committee
This edition has been curated by our editorial committee formed by: Vilma Jurkute (director of Alserkal Avenue), Deborah Najar (director of the Jean-Paul Najar Foundation) and Ramin Salsali (founder and director of Salsali Private Museum), who have selected the best and most interesting art spaces and exhibitions in town. The Guide is also enriched by an introduction itinerary by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi.
Vilma Jurkute is director of Alserkal Avenue, home to Dubai’s creative industries. Spread across 500,000 square feet in Al Quoz, the architect-designed warehouses host numerous art galleries, art studios, a black box theatre and dining options, and will also soon be home to Dubai’s first art house cinema. A Lithuanian with a background in international business, Vilma Jurkute worked in New York, Chicago and London before settling in Dubai in 2011. She joined Al Serkal Avenue as communications director, moving into her current position in 2014.
Deborah Najar is the Director of the Jean-Paul Najar Foundation. Her vision to offer outstanding exhibitions showcasing the collection assembled by founder Jean-Paul Najar and to support artists is made possible through continued acquisitions and commissions, publications and educational programs that engage the audiences. She is also very active in fundraising and hosts a number of events through the year thanks to the generous support of its partners, sponsors and friends.
Prior to this, she was the Middle East Representative for Bonhams Auctioneers, and the General Manager of De Beers Diamond Jewelers in the Middle East. She currently sits on the advisory board of the New Year’s Music Festival in Gstaad and heads up the Global Private Museum Network – the world’s leading Private Museum Organisation, regrouping more than thirty museums from around the world. A French national, Deborah speaks four languages, has two children and thrives on sharing her passion for Contemporary Art.
Ramin Salsali started his collection at the age of 21 and has been developing it ever since. Born in Tehran in 1964, he studied economics, strategic management and marketing with a focus on Industry Design, in Germany and England.
In April 2011, Ramin Salsali decided to open his private museum in Dubai realizing his long-term dream. Salsali Private Museum (SPM) opened its doors on the 11.11.2011. SPM is the first Private Museum for contemporary art in the region in which Salsali’s collection of over 900 pieces of painting, photography, video art, sculpture and installation is showcased. SPM also hosts the collections of guest collectors and travelling exhibitions from around the world.