Special Olympics UAE launches Unified Arts workshop series

ABU DHABI, Special Olympics UAE has launched a nationwide Unified Arts workshop series for People of Determination with intellectual and developmental disabilities, comprising seven workshops guided by seven prominent Emirati artists.

The community workshops, curated by multiple award-winning Emirati artist Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, will take place once a month starting this January across the seven emirates. The first workshop took place in Abu Dhabi with acclaimed mixed media artist Jalal Luqman at the Abu Dhabi Youth Hub and the second will be held at the Dubai Youth Hub, Emirates Towers on 6th February.

The UAE-inspired workshop series will be interactive and aims to give People of Determination an opportunity to engage with their artist mentors. Groups of eight to ten participating athletes in each emirate will come together and create an artwork under the guidance of a participating artist. Each workshop will be designed by the artist mentor and will utilize a variety of techniques and materials. As part of the Unified Arts programme, the series increases access to the arts and develops the artistic skills of Special Olympics UAE athletes in an inclusive and creative environment.

Talal Al Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE, said, “The development of arts programmes is important for community engagement and is an effective catalyst for social inclusion. Through the Unified Arts programme, we are contributing to building communities that are inclusive of People of Determination with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The programme also gives new avenues for creative expression and help develop new skillsets which are beneficial to overall wellbeing. We are delighted to collaborate with pioneering Emirati artists to engage with the athletes across the country through this collection of workshops and we look forward to working together to develop inclusive opportunities within the UAE arts community.”

Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, Programme Curator of Unified Arts, said, “It’s an honour to have the chance to work on such a meaningful project for the artistic future of People of Determination, as the Programme Curator, it brings joy to my heart to be able to be a part of such a programme that brings together a group of talented athletes who have a lot to offer to the community.”

Jalal Luqman, Participating Artist, said, “To have the privilege to work with People of Determination in producing a mixed media artwork is in itself an amazing opportunity. Using art as a language of communication, to jointly create a mixed media masterpiece with a significant message transcends the scope of creating an artwork.”

Unified Arts has previously collaborated with over 50 People of Determination, their friends, and families, on the first sculpture created in direct collaboration with them in the region, titled Flowers of Hope with Emirati artist Azza Al Qubaisi. It was displayed in Qasr Al Hosn, Emirates Palace, The Galleria Al Maryah Island and exhibited in Abu Dhabi Art 2020 and 2021.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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