ABU DHABI.- The four-hour event provided visitors of all ages and nationalities with an informal and inspiring evening celebrating the work of artist Pablo Picasso through film, live music, learning opportunities and a participatory, live painting studio under the guidance of resident artists in a dynamic and vibrant atmosphere.
Upon arrival, members of the public were welcomed into a relaxed environment at the 'Artscape Lounge' by UAE- based musician Kamal Mussallam and his band, playing a jazz fusion of Oriental and Latin music. The Lounge lead to an exhibition of large-scale reproductions of a series of paintings by Picasso and a display of quotations by the artist, thus reflecting his aesthetic and his philosophy. Human statues dressed in characters from Picasso's work mingled with the public, bringing further interactivity with the audience. Children and adults alike packed the painting studio throughout the evening and painted passionately for four consecutive hours.
One guest commented: "When I heard about Artscape I came with all my friends. When we arrived, we were in awe of the great atmosphere and the richness of the programme!"
The audience also attended an informative and engaging lecture by Dr. Martin Giesen, Professor of Art History in the Visual and Performing Arts at the American University of Sharjah, who spoke about the nature of art practice and the value of art through the work of Picasso.
The final element of the night included a magical performance of sand animation by artist Frenc Cako. The artist drew figurative representations in sand to the sound of music, while integrating elements from the work of Picasso.
Commenting on the success of the event, Mahita El Bacha Urieta, Public Programming Manager, Culture Department at Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) said: "We were thrilled by the great turnout! The popularity of the event has underlined the importance of increased art programming in Abu Dhabi. The great mix of people and their enthusiasm and participatory spirit, has encouraged us to make sure that the next Artscape exceeds the public's expectation."
TDIC will also be presenting exhibitions and further cultural activities from October 2008 onwards that will be announced regularly. The next Artscape event will take place in December 2008.