Myrna Ayad Appointed New Director of Art Dubai

Yet again, an arts writer has been chosen to helm an art fair.

Myrna Ayad, new director of Art Dubai.
Photo: Abbi Kemp.

Hot on the heels of its successful 10th edition, the art fair Art Dubai has announced the appointment of Myrna Ayad as its new director.

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1977, Myrna Ayad is an independent arts writer (and artnet News contributor), as well as an editor and consultant based in the UAE for the last 30 years.

Ayad was previously editor of Canvas, a magazine focused on arts and culture from the Middle East and the Arab world, and has also written for publications including the New York Times, the Art Newspaper, Artsy, and Artforum.

Meanwhile, Antonia Carver, the fair’s current director, has been appointed first global director of the arts foundation Art Jameel. She will remain a close advisor of Art Dubai and will also serve on the fair’s board.

“I’m overjoyed to be joining Art Dubai which—thanks to the ambitions of Antonia and the team—has become the world’s foremost platform for the art communities of the Middle East and South Asia. Having attended and worked with the fair since 2007, I’m excited by the opportunity to work with the team to build on this success,” Ayad said in a statement.

The new senior team of Art Dubai. From left to right: Pablo del Val, Myrna Ayad, Antonia Carver, and Lela Csaky.<br>Photo: Courtesy Art Dubai.

The new senior team of Art Dubai. From left to right: Pablo del Val, Myrna Ayad, Antonia Carver, and Lela Csaky.
Photo: Courtesy Art Dubai.

Ayad’s appointment is part of a larger re-structuring of the fair, which includes also the appointment of Lela Csaky as director of VIP relations and of Pablo Del Val as international director.

Ayad’s rise to the helm of the fair is in line with the ongoing trend of appointing writers and editors as heads of art fairs—including Ayad’s predecessor at Art Dubai, Carver, who had written for The Art Newspaper and was an editor for Bidoun magazine; Marc Spiegler, a former journalist who wrote for the Art Newspaper, New York Magazine, and ARTNews before being tapped to direct Art Basel in 2012; and our very own Benjamin Genocchio, the founder and former editor in chief of artnet News who, in December 2015, became the director of New York’s Armory Show.

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