ISLAMABAD-The first-ever International Islamabad Art Festival 2019 (IAF-19) will be held in the federal capital from November 18 to November 30, aiming to celebrate diversity and creativity in all forms of visual and performing arts.

In a press briefing here on Wednesday, President and Chief Curator IAF-19 Jamal Shah said the festival was being organised by consortium of public and private educational institutions, art galleries and artist associations from across the country in collaboration with foreign embassies, with generous support from the corporate sector. Renowned artist Jamal Shah who was also former Director General Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) said IAF-19 was a collaborative project and would be hosted in several locations in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, including museums, art galleries, educational institutions and public parks. He said the festival would be inaugurated on November 18 at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), and would continue for a full 13 days, before an elaborate closing ceremony on November 30. The thematic focus of IAF-19 is ‘Dialogue between Tradition and Modernity’.

He said the festival was expected to engage an audience of at least 500,000 individuals from diverse backgrounds and ages. “The participants of the festival will include over 230 individuals from 34 countries and approximately 400 artists from across Pakistan,” he said. Shah said at IAF-19, local artists would create, exhibit and perform right alongside their foreign counterparts and catapult Pakistani art to new heights worldwide.

He said emerging artists would have an opportunity to interact with established and highly-respected artists and exhibit their work together on this collaborative platform.

He said the spirit of creativity brings people together and strengthen society as a whole. “Collaborating with international artists will foster stronger relationships through cultural dialogue and exchange of ideas and elevate Pakistani art and culture on a global level.

Jamal Shah said the academic component of IAF-19 developed in partnership with leading educational institutes of Pakistan, will include three short conferences; lectures and panel discussions; book launches and interactive workshops for children and adults. “There will also be a video contest encouraging students to explore the culture and heritage of their part of Pakistan,” he added.

He said an art festival of this scale will have a far-reaching socioeconomic and cultural impact, adding it will broaden public access to creative and performing arts and encourage people to explore their own creativity through workshops and interactive public art programs.

The chief curator IAF-19 said it would also provide a shared platform for artists, performers and scholars to develop a framework to further art education in Pakistan.

Representatives of various arts galleries and partners organizations were also present on the occasion. Dr. Faisal, Gallery 6 also speaking on the occasion said that Arjumand Painting Award will be announced during Islamabad Art Festival, adding that jury will nominate the first three winners of the competition.

He said the fourth award would be given to the best painting on the occasion.