Legacy Art & Events, a pioneer in corporate leasing of art caters to the increasing demand for emerging as well as semi-established art in the region. Given the diversity of Dubai and its residents, the organization developed over time to become a platform for emerging art and artists from all over the world to showcase their art and connect to the art lovers residing in Dubai. We speak to Sonia Ghai, Promoter and Director of Legacy about how she got started and more.
Tell us something about yourself; your family, your background and such. What got you interested in art? Are you an artist in hiding?
Art has the power to transform, illuminate, educate, inspire and motivate. It washes from the soul the dust of everyday life and is blissful.
I’m from New Delhi and an English honors graduate from Jesus and Mary College with a diploma in Interior Design. I always had a keen interest in art since childhood and even dabbled in it a bit myself. I used to paint for a while, but may be the somewhat hidden artist in me finds supporting and encouraging other artists most satisfying. But my journey with art started in 2000, when Kanwal Rekhi, one of the founding members of TiE Global came to our house in Vancouver and admired all the artworks I had collected over the years. He encouraged me to take it up professionally. TiE was having their annual global retreat in Whistler, which is a famous ski resort near Vancouver and their theme for the retreat was Mughals. I sourced seventy artworks from India, which also included Tanjores. It was a big success and then there was no looking back for me.
I started this company called Indus Treasures and started promoting art from India in Canada and the USA. After that, I had many exhibitions independently in the region as well, specifically for the Vancouver Maritime Museum and Nargis Dutt Foundation.
After coming back to Dubai in 2004, I again started exploring the right model to start the business and pursue my passion for Art. Over three years, I connected with artists from over 12 countries and finally in 2007, I started Legacy’s Art business.
Why are you featuring emerging artists? Why not established art?
The reason I feature emerging artists is that I want to give talented and unrecognized artists from around the globe a platform to showcase their art. We are proud to say that many of them have gained immense recognition since their association with us. They have had solo exhibitions in Dubai and abroad, but still like to be with us because of our role in helping them establish themselves. I cannot pin point any one artist as being my favorite as all the artists have been handpicked by me. I like various forms of art, but have a special liking towards detailing in figures and landscapes. I am very particular about detailing and that is the main criteria used whilst selecting and promoting chosen artists.
What next for you and for Legacy?
In the future, I want Legacy to be a one-stop shop for people who want to own an original piece of art, but don’t want to break the bank for it. Along with having affordable art by emerging artists, we also have art by established artists so that we cater to all segments. I want Legacy to be the first name that comes to mind when people think of art in the UAE. For now, Legacy would stick to paintings and only in the future would explore other forms of art like sculptures.