Aberdeen’s celebration of street art
Last year’s inaugural event was hugely popular, with walls all over the city centre becoming the canvas for creative work by some of the leading street art practitioners from around the world. This year’s festival runs from April 12-15, with sites across the city. Aberdeen Inspired’s Ross Grant shares what’s in store this year…
Nuart started in Stavanger in 2001, showcasing the most current topics, issues and phenomena within the street art world. Nuart Aberdeen was launched last year, and is the only other Nuart Festival in the world! Aberdeen was chosen because it’s a comparatively blank canvas for street and graffiti art. There were risks associated with bringing it to the city, not least we needed to consider how people would react to such a transformative festival as Nuart. Fortunately, the festival’s key partners, Aberdeen Inspired and Aberdeen City Council, agreed that what was being offered was worth the risk.
‘Nuart Aberdeen was wildly popular, winning the hearts and minds of the people of Aberdeen, the shire and beyond, as well as bringing international media attention and global acclaim to the city. It’s a festival for everybody; unlike traditional galleries, where some people don’t feel they belong, there’s no sense of exclusivity or barrier to enjoyment.
‘This year we expect to be featuring internationally celebrated street artists from the UK, Europe and beyond. There’s also a programme of free, bookable, guided walking tours, launch day events, film screenings, engaging workshops for all ages, and our excellent Nuart Aberdeen conference which will include a programme of panel discussions and talks from some of the visiting artists.
‘Many people will be wondering just what we can do to top what was produced last year, but we are working to ensure that this year’s offering is just as transformative and exciting.
‘Nuart Aberdeen really showed the effect that having good quality public art can have in helping people feel a real sense of pride in their city. The art meant more than simply something nice to experience when local people make their way to their work or head to the shops, it showed Aberdeen as a confident and culturally vibrant place to live and to visit.
‘The Nuart team are highly respected for bringing together groups of artists who have a lot to say through their productions, and it’s incredibly important that their work does ‘say something’ and that they convey powerful messages. The pieces produced by the visiting artists are their ‘gift’ to the city which is a very humbling experience, they work incredibly hard, supported by resident artists, to make their ‘gift’ the best it possibly can be.
‘Based on the almost universally positive reaction in 2017 from city centre businesses and Aberdonians alike, the audience really did seem open to the wide range of art that was produced. Whether or not they personally liked every single piece of art, there was a real appreciation that each piece of art has a meaning and a purpose in the city.
‘I would encourage anyone who is interested in Nuart to visit our website for the latest information on what’s on and how to get involved. Come and see for yourselves, take part in some of the events, take the time to explore and enjoy this year’s festival. There really has not been a festival quite like it in our city. Nuart Aberdeen creates art for everyone to enjoy every day. If you loved Nuart Aberdeen last year, you haven’t seen anything yet!’