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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 April 2018

Open air art night a great success

Dubai, UAE - January 24, 2014 - Street Night Art in Al Quoz is a community event to help beautify the industrial area of Al Quoz and is said to be the largest outdoor gallery to date in the UAE.

Photo by Clint McLean for The National

Story: Street Art Night
Reporter: Anna Seaman
Photo Editor: Julie Nicholson
Dubai, UAE - January 24, 2014 - Street Night Art in Al Quoz is a community event to help beautify the industrial area of Al Quoz and is said to be the largest outdoor gallery to date in the UAE. Photo by Clint McLean for The National Story: Street Art Night Reporter: Anna Seaman Photo Editor: Julie Nicholson

Hundreds of people flocked to the first Street Night Art event that happened last night in Al Quoz.

Street 4B, that runs behind Times Square Mall in Dubai's industrial zone, was blocked off to traffic and from 6pm until midnight. All through that time people filled the street to witness live art, musical entertainment, dancing and take part in a number of participatory events.

Street Night Art was organised by Maria Urrutia, who gathered a team of volunteers and worked for over a year to pull the event together.

"I'm super happy," she said last night. "I have been waiting for this moment for a long time and I can't believe it has finally happened and that there are so many people here enjoying themselves."

Over 50 artists and galleries took part in the event including Areej Al Gurg, an Emirati who usually paints at home and is a keen art collector. "I follow all the artists because I collect and so I came to know about the event and decided to take part. I work for the government so it is a nice change for me to be involved in something like this. It's a wonderful event and I wish there were more of them."

Natasha Jochman, the gallery manager of Mussawir who became involved in the event only a few days before the opening said it was a great initiative. "We want to be part of the art community and what Maria and Alex are doing is an amazing thing. It doesn't matter who you are or where you are from everyone is welcome and it unites us all. It is not about money, this night is just about art.

Gary Yong, or Enforce One, who was spray painting a bus with a beautiful series of flying birds said that in his native New Zealand, these kinds of events were normal and were an essential part of the creative community.

[caption id="attachment_31180" align="aligncenter" width="584"] Gary Yong paints the side of a bus in aerosol paint[/caption]

"It is about freedom of expression in a public place and that has to be a positive thing. This is a place that is slowly accepting this art form and I am happy to be here as that is happening."