Launch of the International Academy of Art Palestine

Ramallah - The artists of Palestine will step out of a dream and into reality as the launch of the project to establish International Academy of Art Palestine takes place on Thursday, December 7, 2006.

“Art is of vital importance in national identity-building. It helps to build bridges, plays a part in social development and inspires people to reflect on their situation. This is why the opening of the Academy in Ramallah is such an important occasion,” said the Norwegian Minster of International Development, Erik Solheim.

The International Academy of Art Palestine (IAAP) will offer distictive higher education in the field of art, aiming to grant a B.A. in contemporary visual arts. But as important for IAAP is maintaining the collective Palestinian memory, history and identity by offering the local population and the international community new images of Palestine and Palestinians. An initiative taken in 2002 by the Norwegian artist Henrik Placht and the Palestinian Association of Contemporary Art (PACA) in collaboration with the Oslo National Academy of Arts (KHIO), the establishment of IAAP was funded solely by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The initial meeting included Palestinian leading artist Suleiman Mansour, Nabil Anani, Tayseer Barakat, Khaled Hourani and Sameer Salameh. This ambitious project is being carried out amidst harsh circumstances in which Palestinians live daily, yet see in art a tool to resist injustice and oppression.

The main goal for the International Academy of Art Palestine is to develop a curriculum in formal visual arts education to educate initially local students and eventually international students by obtaining a license from the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education and seeking accreditation. The project aims to use KHIO’S teaching model and modify available curricula to enhance the cultural and historical requirements to suit Palestine, thereby having curriculum content richly anchored from within an Arab-Middle Eastern society.

Dr. Maria Khoury, an education specialist, is the local project manager and a graduate of Boston University and Harvard University. Khaled Hurani is IAAP’s Arts Officer, a well known Palestinian artist who has participated in numerous residencies and workshops worldwide. Henrik Placht is IAAP`s project manager and advisor on behalf of Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He has done tremendous work the last four years, organizing, lobbying, and fundraising, and has played a key part in creating the International Academy of Art Palestine.

The first semester for the bachelor’s degree program begins in September 2007, promoting the highest level of art lectures and studio practice. The deadline for accepting applicants who want to be the first to study at the International Academy of Art Palestine is set for March 15, 2007. The students will be recruited and accepted on the basis of an interview and participation in the April 2007 Art Workshop resulting in 10-12 scholarships for the Fall Semester.

Contact: Dr. Maria C. Khoury Tel: +972 2 296 7601 Fax: +972 2 295 1849
Email: Mobile: 054 5 465 845 or 0599 318 347

Related Links

  • International Academy of Art Palestine