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Art project in JBR brings art to public space

Artists commissioned to transform The Walk

Gulf News

Dubai: Thirty UAE-based artists were commissioned to transform the vases, staircases, benches, and spaces of The Walk at The Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) into an outdoor art exhibition, under the theme The City is Your Canvas, which will run until February 20.

The artists were commissioned by Dubai Culture and Xpoze, the Idea Factory run by Emirati women, in collaboration with Dubai Properties Group (DPG).

Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture, toured The Walk at JBR to view the various works under the Dubai Outdoor Art Project. Artists that have been working at JBR on their artworks attracted other aspiring artists’ attention and Xpoze was approached by more people wanting to participate.

Amal Al Marri, Co founder of Xpoze told Gulf News that because of the large number of people, they decided to open the call to anyone and provide them with one of the plant pots around JBR to paint,

“All they have to do is send an email to with their information, and a photo of the pot they want to paint and I approve it, just to make sure its not someone else’s and they can enjoy painting it.” Al Marri said.

“As it’s the first time, we do not want to limit the artists, so they can paint whatever they want. Everyone is an artist and everything will look good on the pots.”

She added that the pots will stay painted for about a month and then be repainted, “but we are hoping to keep them forever, if we get permission”.

In addition to creating over 40 artworks, participating artists held workshops and gave visitors, including children and families, the opportunity to take part in creating public art pieces, such as sculptures, light calligraphy and paintings.

The outdoor exhibition aims to bring art to the public, who might not go to art galleries, Khalil Abdul Wahid, manager of Visual Arts at Dubai Culture, said.

He added that they want to “introduce the audience to the artist and to the talents in the UAE”.

Al Khaja, one of the artists, said that it being outdoors is “nice because usually in exhibitions it’s the same people attending, but here everyone sees it, even kids.”

Elise Vazelakis, also one of the artists, said that it was fun to make something temporary that gets exposed and then taken down. She added that it is also more fun working in public and not in a studio.