Founder of ArtSelect
Kaneka Subberwal has many firsts to her credit and she has built on this pioneering spirit to make her vision her mission and persisted despite all odds to make what seemed like an impossible dream then to put Bahrain in the reckoning as far as art was concerned. Her initiative is to make Bahrain a focal point for art in the West Asian region and establish a forward thinking platform to promote the growth of art in the country. She takes this many steps forward with BAAB – Bahrain Art Across Borders – an initiative powered by Tamkeen to take the art of the artists of Bahrain across borders globally, establishing it as an umbrella to unite all local art initiatives such as the 2 nd edition of Bahrain’s international art fair ‘Art Bahrain Across Borders 2017’ (ArtBAB 2017) and the more recent Be Bahrain art week hosted in London.
She arrived in Bahrain in 2008 with her company Art Select and set up Bahrain’s first art lounge then expanded to art consultation to include artists, collectors, families and corporate offices within the ambit of the arts. She organized a number of art shows across the country – with ArtBahrain being a culmination of sorts, considering the commendable impact it has had in the region, especially since art fairs are a relatively new phenomenon in the region.
She hopes to create a common space for galleries and artists from around the globe to connect with collectors and art aficionados, whilst hoping that neighbouring Arab States will be more proactive in investing in and promoting their contemporary artists to the world. Her portfolio of organizing art exhibitions is impressive by any standards: 57 and counting. She began in 2005 with shows in Dubai, London, Oman and Doha and the outreach of the expositions was such that she was able to bring in many new buyers and collectors within the ambit of the arts. As an art investment expert, she not only learnt to wear different hats, but also carry them with great responsibility and aplomb.