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Press Releases

Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Book Illustrations invites professional artists to participate

The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) has announced that applications for participation in the third edition of the Sharjah Exhibition for Children Book's Illustrations are now open. The Exhibition will be held on the sidelines of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, scheduled to take place from 15 April to 25 April at Expo Centre Sharjah and will be awarding a sum of $21,000 in monetary prizes.

Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, SIBF Director, said:" The Sharjah Exhibition for Children Book's Illustrations has become one of the most prominent exhibitions, drawing the attention of artists, authors, publishers, and all other stakeholders in the publishing sector, especially those interested in producing attractive children books with high quality illustrations that bring text to life and make it more children-friendly. This would not have been possible without the directions of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah."

He added: "Sharjah has always been the pioneer in cultural events, mixing books with art, words with imagery, and poetry with music, thus participating in the creation of an art scene that caters to all social segments. Naturally, children occupy a high position on our priority list, as we strive to enhance a culture revolving around children, with highly professional content that focuses on virtue and human values."

Al Ameri pointed out that marketing the Sharjah Exhibition for Children Book's Illustrations in international events has gained excellent attention, especially from the  Bologna Children's Book Fair in Italy, one of the oldest and most prominent children's books fairs in the world. A delegation from the  Sharjah International Book Fair visited  Bologna Children's Book Fair 2013, aiming at encouraging foreign artists and publishers to participate in the third edition of the Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Book Illustrations. This mission was well received by artists and publishers, who expressed their satisfaction at the presence of such an advanced exhibition in the Arab World, attributing this success to Sharjah's efforts in developing children's books, both on the Arabic and international levels.

Explaining participation criteria and processes, Hind Lenaid, Head of Exhibitions at SIBF and General Coordinator of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, explained that participation is open for professional artists from all over the world, referring interested talents to SIBF's website (www.sharjahbookfair.com) for more information, and to download the participation form to be filled and mailed with participating  artwork before February 15th, 2014.

Lenaid pointed out that the participating  artwork  needs to be original, with a minimum of 3 pieces, and a maximum of 6, all covering the same story. Each piece needs to tackle an issue related to human values, in dimensions equal to or less than 50 cm. Lenaid also announced that the winner in first place will be awarded $8,000, the second $6,000, and the third $4,000. The Fair will also award 3 incentive awards, each worth $1,000. Winning artwork will be selected by a specialised jury consisting of experts in this field.

The Sharjah Exhibition for Children Books’ Illustrations goes beyond the regular role of art exhibitions, as it works to create a database with contact info and biographies of all participating artists. This helps artists in promoting their artwork worldwide, and establishing interaction and communications between artists, authors, publishers, children and their guardians. The Fair hopes that this can facilitate the production of high standard children's books, both in terms of content and illustration.

The Fair's first edition attracted the participation of 61 artists from 26 countries around the world. It awarded the first prize to Gabriel Pacheco from Mexico, the second to Spanish artist David Pintor, and third to Iranian artist Ali Riza Kaldozian. The second edition attracted the participation of 75 artists from 28 countries. In this edition, the first place winner was Mahmoud Gahallah from Sudan, while the second place went to Nooshin Safakhoo from Iran, and the third place was taken by Elsa Klever from Germany. Incentive prizes went to Salah Al Murr from Sudan, Juan Baz from Lebanon, and Aratex Lopez from Spain.

The third edition of Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival is set to be held between April 15th and 25th 2014, where great participation is expected from hundreds of local, Arabic, and international publishers specialised in children's books and educational and cultural content. The exhibition will be marked by a large number of activities, spanning the fields of culture, art, education, and leisure. These activities aim at enhancing children's culture and encouraging children to read and will be held in the presence of a number of world renowned authors and academic specialists.

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