Up close with Mara Firetti: Crusading for the environment through the arts

Dubai, UAE: Mara Firetti is an entrepreneur dedicated to the promotion and growth of international artists. In the last 15 years as an art advisor and artist promoter, Mara principally dedicated her expertise in developing the career of sculptor Helidon Xhixha. 

Xhixha is an Albanian-born artist, but Italian by adoption, whose monumental sculptures and innovative technique, together with an approach that is the result of an artistic upbringing and a formal education, have granted him international acclaim.

Meantime, organising public events and international exhibitions in renown institutions and art fairs, allowed Mara to acquire a large portfolio of high-profile art collectors, and extensive experience as a press officer for artists with a network of important relationships. 

At her right hand side is her team, two art professionals, Sossy Dikijian and Celine Azem. Together they share a deeply rooted passion in art and all it stands for. Coming from entirely different backgrounds and specializations, yet still sharing the same mission: To establish an Art Gallery that promotes and supports emerging and established artists that create meaningful artworks and  deliver a strong statement from different corners of the world.

The following are excerpts of Dubai Vibes Magazine interview with Ms. Firetti:

DVM: What inspired you to open a gallery highlighting social and environmental issues?

Mara Firetti: The beauty and power of art is such that it is capable of influencing society by changing opinions, by initiating thoughts, reflections and feelings. It allows people from different backgrounds, cultures and places in time to communicate with each other and share experiences. The gallery in this scenario becomes the podium where all these emotions are shared and received and therefore it is important to us that the values presented are constructive and beneficial to our community and our world.

DVM: Climate change..how close it is to your heart?

MF: I would say as close as the health and wellbeing of my family and of my children. We are seeing changes that have never been seen before as temperatures are rising. Sea levels have risen, the amount of ice and and snow has decreased, and the ocean waters have warmed up. We just can’t pretend any longer that this is an issue that doesn’t belong to us or needs to be tackled far ahead in the future.  Global warming is here and its now and we need to act. We can all do something about it by changing our habits while reducing our imprint and turn to a more sustainable living.

DVM: What other social issues would the gallery be campaigning for?

MF: We represent artists from different corners of the world and our aim to share their views on humanitarian matters, cultural inclusion, globalization, gender equality and all that apports a constructive contribution and reflection within our society.

DVM: What can the public expect from the gallery for the remainder of the year?

MF: After the recent solo exhibition of Helidon Xhixha, we will have a group exhibition of five artists having a common theme: The importance of protecting our environment through sustainable approaches.

We are also planning an exhibition with a focus on the function of language and information and the geometric intricacies of calligraphy.  On one side, the show will explore the emerging patterns in human behavior caused by the birth of the internet and simultaneously the complexity of linguistic, mathematical and visual systems of communication.  

DVM: Can you tell us about yourself and your journey into the art industry?

MF: Art has always been part of my life as both my parents loved painting and often took me to art exhibitions and museums during our family trips, but it became my focus and profession through my encounter with Helidon Xhixha, 15 years ago. 

I had a business and marketing background and as I was extremely fascinated by his artworks I started dedicating my expertise in promoting his career, organizing public events and international exhibitions in renown institutions and art fairs. During this time, I was able to acquire a lot of experience and meet inspirational curators, dealers and collectors. 

I structured and organized exhibitions in institutions such as La Biennale di Venezia, London Design Biennale and the Uffizi Gallery Museum in Florence. I also met lots of other incredible and passionate artists and I’m so thrilled that now through Firetti Contemporary we can represent them and share their value with our viewers.


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