An alumnus of American University of Sharjah (AUS) was declared the winner of the "Opulence" category of the Emirates Airlines' Skywards Future Artist competition recently. As a result, Naji Muneer, a graduate of the architecture degree program at the university's College of Architecture, Arts and Design (CAAD), will not only have his award-winning artwork featured on the Skywards 2012 membership card but also receive a commission fee of US$5,000 and the opportunity to display his work at Art Dubai, one of the region's leading art fairs.
"When Emirates representatives called and told me that I had won, they said they were surprised by the huge number of supporters who voted for me," said Muneer. "I look at this achievement as a direct result of being part of an outstanding educational institution like AUS, and in an innovative environment like CAAD where creativity is the norm and success is the outcome," he added.
The Skywards Future Artists was an initiative launched by Emirates last year that invited artists from around the world to respond to three creative briefs. The idea behind the awards was to give artists an opportunity to gain exposure worldwide through the Skywards membership cards. "Modernism," "Sophistication" and "Opulence" were the themes of the competition this year and applicants had to reflect the values of the Skywards brand in their artwork.
"I call my work Flawless and this digital three-dimensional sculpture tries to capture the essence of opulence in a fluid notion combining the infinite directionality of today's contemporary culture," said Muneer.
A recent graduate of AUS, Muneer has represented his alma mater in various international architectural design conferences and workshops in cities around the world, such as Amman, New York, Washington D.C., Moscow, Beijing, and Bangalore.