x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Super calligraffiti display in Abu Dhabi makes children seem precocious

'Calligraffiti' was just one of the surprising art forms on display at the Art for All community week in Khalifa Park last night.

Artist Karim Jabbari poses during the Art for All community week at Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi. Jake Badger for The National
Artist Karim Jabbari poses during the Art for All community week at Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi. Jake Badger for The National

ABU DHABI // “Calligraffiti” was just one of the surprising art forms on display at the Art for All community week in Khalifa Park last night.

Thousands of residents, mostly families, gathered to take part in art workshops, activities and interact with local and international artists.

The Art for All week is a series of evening events aimed to unite the community through a celebration of the arts. It is being organised by the Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation.

“I appreciate that Abu Dhabi is introducing art to the public and promoting the right talent,” said Karim Jabbari, 34, a Montreal-based calligraphy-graffiti artist who arrived in capital for the event.  “It’s a great effort on their part and I am glad to be part of it.”

The crowd watched as he taught a group of enthusiasts the technique of mixing calligraphy and graffiti.

“My mission is to bring Arabic calligraphy to the younger generation by using a technique of urban art – graffiti – and calligraphy,” said Mr Jabbari.

At the Art for All event, many explored the art of “Calligraffiti” and created a piece together with Mr Jabbari.

“I just wanted to try it out,” said Abeesha Jamal, 13, an eighth-grade pupil. “My friends know me for my art and it’s so nice to be here.”

Art for All also features an activity corner for children where they enjoy interactive workshops that allow them to express their creativity, including learning about the art of sand animation. It is the process of adding or removing sand from a glass table lit from below. Students from Cartoon Network Animation Academy used this technique to produce a short video animation.

Residents also had a chance to vote for the art pieces that will be displayed at the Art for All community Pavilion at Abu Dhabi Art.  Forty-five entries by university students and Creative Lab participants will be exhibited in the park all week for the public to vote for their favourite.

The winning works will be displayed at the Art for All Community Pavilion at Abu Dhabi Art on November 7-10 at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Hessa Al Hameli, the programme manager for art, culture and heritage at the Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, said it was important to encourage art through community events.

“This is for the community and we want them to feel welcome. Art for All is for them,” she said.

Art for All will run until October 23. For more information, click here.

rruiz@thenational.ae