Another Urban Arts Festival for Dubai

Curtin University Dubai, an Australian university with expat campuses in Malaysia, Singapore, and now Dubai, has just opened for business in International Academic City. It’s hoping to make some noise and also to brand itself appropriately with its inaugural week-long Urban Arts Festival.

This is a modest enough beginning, clearly aimed at high school students but also open to “anybody else with an artistic flair”. It comprises photography and street art competitions plus a daily creative workshop during the week of 11-15 February. The workshops are free, but you should pre-register:

11 Feb2:30-4:30pmExpress yourself: art therapy
12 Feb11:30am-12:30pmCeramic painting
12 Feb2-5pmCreate with Nikon
13 Feb2:30-4:30pm‘Fluid painting’ (nope, no idea)
14 Feb2:30-4:30pmTypography
15 Feb2:30-4:30pmExpress yourself: art therapy

The photography competition is titled ‘UAE’s Multicultural Heritage’ (is that the obligatory topic for all UAE photo competitions?) and is open to all comers, including smartphone snaps. The deadline for submissions is 25 February and winners will be announced on 15 March. There seems to be no prize as such, but the winner will be named as Curtin Dubai’s ‘Photographer of the Year’.

Curtin’s Dubai campus. Lots of wall there …

The graffiti competition (“be the next Banksy!”) has the same deadline date, though the website says the winner will be announced on that same day. You need to sketch a wall-sized piece (no idea about the size) that somehow encapsulates either ‘Dubai & Australia’ or ‘Curtin University’s reputation and history’; winners get to paint the campus walls on 10, 17, 24, and 31 March.

Prof Seth Kunin – Curtin University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, and Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor of Curtin Dubai – said: “We are committed to encouraging our own students to expand their creative horizon even further in a highly ranked academic environment. The Festival will help us celebrate the launch of its Arts and Humanities courses at the Dubai campus, as well as introduce a new generation of urban artists to Dubai.”

Curtin University Dubai’s campus is in Block 11 of Dubai International Academic City.

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