July 7, 2007
By MATTHEW KALMAN
The first higher-education institution in the Palestinian territories dedicated solely to art has selected its first 12 students.
The International Academy of Art Palestine, which plans to open in September, will offer a four-year program and be based in Ramallah.
The academy, backed by the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art, has applied for accreditation from the Palestinian Ministry of Education to grant undergraduate degrees in contemporary visual arts.
The academy's project director, Maria C. Khoury, an education specialist who graduated from Harvard University and Boston University, said she hoped the academy would become "the international portal in the Arab world for contemporary art."
The academy has leased the historic Aref Al-Aref house in Ramallah, which housed the town's first Palestinian art gallery when it opened in 1979. The project is the brainchild of four Palestinian artists who wanted to establish a dedicated institute to teach a new generation of local artists and develop a curriculum appropriate to local conditions.
The money for the academy's first three years of operation was donated by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.
Volume 53, Issue 45, Page A31