Who are we
ARD is an art institution founded by Hana El-Beblawy in 2022 and specialized in the field of contemporary art practices within the local and international art scene. It presents a diversified program that includes many artistic activities stemming from the surrounding affairs and is open to the world. The program includes; artistic residencies, exhibitions, workshops, and other art alternatives which ARD is seeking to provide as services that would contribute to effective artistic patterns in the society. It also strives for a fruitful art scene that is not constrained by the traditional standards of the art market.

Why ARD
When we thought about choosing a name for the project, we hoped to come up with an unbiased word that could seamlessly represent the ideas and ambitions the foundation thrives for. Therefore, we did not consider names such as; space, place, or even area. Rather, we searched for a word that could combine all those meanings and more. We wanted to establish an institution for creative and cognitive learning. A place subject to change and development, a participatory space, and a meeting point. That is why (ARD – ground) was the closest name to what we are looking for both in reality and metaphorically, an inspiring name to present ambitious artistic ideas and projects.

Our vision and goals
With its prime location in Garden City, central Cairo, ARD aspires to become a vibrant meeting point bringing together artists, cultural activists, and art institutions with a broad and extended audience through its programs of intertwined projects and activities. ARD aspires to achieve its objectives in:

  • Filling the gap resulting from the scarce art residency programs -local and international- within Cairo art scene. Therefore, we hope, through our programs and cooperation with various institutions, to become an effective hub to provide and host programs for art residencies from all over the world.
  • Encouraging artists to re-create, produce, and present their ambitious artistic projects, ideas, and experiences by facilitating a flexible work environment that is not subject to the common restrictions imposed by the local art market.
  • Building a platform for artistic creativity based on cultural diversity and exchanging of knowledge and experiences. Also connecting the local and international artists, as being in one place together, in parallel with the activities taking place.
  • Encouraging artists of the younger generation from various governorates of Egypt by providing opportunities for direct contact with the Cairo art scene. ARD will grant them, in its premises, art residencies based on research, training, and learning, in addition to facilitating the opportunities to exchange experiences with foreign artists who are – staying periodically – in the art residencies programs offered by ARD.
  • Presenting an institutional model based on an integrated economic system, as a practical alternative – and at the same time – not isolated from the history of practicing art as a profession. This aims to contribute to the crystallization of the concept of art as a profession.

About the Founder

Hana El Beblawy is a curator and arts professional with a passion for promoting contemporary art, based in Egypt. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Arts from The American University in Cairo (AUC), El Beblawy has a strong foundation in artistic expression and architectural design.

Driven by her passion for promoting contemporary art, she founded and currently manages the ARD Art Institution. As the Founder and Managing Director, she has been instrumental in shaping the institution’s vision and direction. El Beblawy’s understanding of the local cultural context has allowed her to curate a diverse range of exhibitions and programs that engage with pressing social, political, and cultural issues.

El Beblawy’s career took off when she became the Executive Director and Curator at Art D’Égypte. During the period of four years, she co-curated multiple exhibitions, including the landmark exhibitions “Forever is Now” at the Pyramids of Giza, “Reimagined Narratives” in Historic Cairo, and “Nothing Vanishes, Everything Transforms” at Manial Palace.

In addition to her work at Art D’Égypte, Hana also served as a Professional Coach at Pro Helvetia Cairo (the Swiss Arts Council), where she played a vital role in establishing connections between artists-in-residence and the local art scene. Before that, she worked with various institutions in Cairo such as the Downtown Contemporary Art Festival (D-CAF) and the American University in Cairo (AUC).

El Beblawy’s commitment to art extends beyond her professional responsibilities. She actively participates in cultural discussions, contributes to art publications, and supports emerging artists in Egypt. Her advocacy for contemporary art aims to nurture a vibrant and inclusive artistic ecosystem in the country.