What can be more beautiful than artists of different backgrounds coming together for a weekend packed with artistic and cultural activities? The very first Art Weekend with Arte & Lusso at the XVA gallery was a huge success and many new friendships and stories were created. In the heart of old Dubai – al Fahidi area, we enjoyed discovering local food, long conversations and making art in the shade of old trees in the stunning courtyards of the XVA hotel. Let’s look back and relive those beautiful moments together.
Day 1. Thursday: welcome to the artistic heaven
Thursday noon artists started checking in at the XVA art gallery and hotel. Some of them have already been to this iconic Dubai art gallery, while others have never had a chance to pay it a visit. Every room had its own name and decor and loads of original art and was ready to share its story.
There was time to explore the beautiful art exhibition “Silent Confabulations” by the artist Huma Shoiab at the XVA Gallery
Artists also had a chance to bring an artwork with them for the pop up-art exhibition in the backyard for the weekend.
The free time was used to explore every corner of the magical space and to sketch or paint.
We also enjoyed taking photos with the local falcon and chatting to locals.
In the evening we headed to Ostadi Kebab-one of the oldest and most iconic restaurants in Dubai famous for its delicious kebabs and the friendly atmosphere created by the three brothers who run the place.
Day 2. Friday: Let’s breath art, make art and capture stories of the neighbourhood
The day started with a healthy and nourishing breakfast made with love by the XVA team. We needed the energy for the day so all the mezzes and egg dishes and fruit were more than welcome.
The first activity was the art class with Lourdy known as Inky Ways and artists enjoyed playing with one line art and then painting with coffee.
Painting with coffee was another fun activity as this simple medium works perfect for creating landscapes in brown shades of the old houses.
To make things even more fun (and to create some good content for social channels) , every artist also got a mini shoot with their painting thanks to our photographer Victor Sitali.
For lunch we headed to another magical restaurant- the Local House, where we enjoyed traditional arabic biryani, mixed grills, fresh salads and Luqaimat, the traditional Emarati sweet with tea.
After lunch we had a workshop on storytelling for social media before heading out for a walk to explore the creek and create a one minute video.
The gift boxes by our art supplies sponsor Skribl Box were given out and artists were happy to receive a personalised box that contained some art supplies, snacks and a gift voucher 🙂
We enjoy making new friends (the baby camel stole the show) , discovering the vibrant markets and indulging on all the food flavours and aromas.
In the evening we relaxed in the courtyard of XVA gallery while watching the art film “The Big Eyes”. The film deeply resonated with the artists as it focuses on a struggle of a female artists and the way she was not taken seriously and ended up having her art credited to her abusive partner.
Day 3 Getting inspired by the masters
On Saturday we had our breakfast and headed to the art studio of Mike Arnold which is located just a few min away from the XVA hotel at Tashkeel.Mike shoed us his studio and shared many exciting stories from his artistic career. He was also happy to answer questions (which were many) and give some feedback and advice to participants. He absolutely stole the show and many artists came back for a more in-depth conversation.
The weekend came to an end and yet it was just a beginning of new friendships and stories to be shared. I am happy to say that we are building a community of like minded people who love art and want to support each other and grow together. After all, “Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness” as Anni Albers stated and we are definitely in for more happy moments together.
The next Art Weekend will happen on April 15-17, learn more here