As the mercury levels around Dubai max out, we find ourselves looking for some interesting indoor entertainment options.
And if you enjoy getting creative whilst hibernating from all that humidity, there’s a group called Artistpals that organise weekend art parties at various venues across Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The group deliberately avoids using the term ‘classes,’ describing them instead as ‘parties.’ The brand feels using the word ‘class’ can infer sterile, academic environments; whereas their events are designed to encourage socialising and, well, partying – whilst you brush-up on your painting skills.
You don’t have to be particularly smart at art for this arty party, anyone of any skill level can join in. Even if you’ve never held a brush in your entire life. The organisers provide all materials you need to create your masterpiece including canvas, colours, aprons, brushes and more. All you need to do is book your space online and show up. Beret is optional.
Each art party has a theme and we’ve turned up, largely by design, for the Italy session. When in Rome 😉. We arrive at the party venue, Gastro Bar & Kitchen at DoubleTree by Hilton, on the JBR and see around a dozen canvas stations being prepped. Each station has colours, brushes, an apron and some water in a container. We take a deep breath and try to summon our inner Da Vinci.
The organiser Chadi asks us to take a seat and explains that we will recreate a landscape scene from an Italian village, adding, that we can order food and beverages anytime we want. Culture is hungry work.
It’s been a while since we last got medieval on an easel, so we’re relieved when the resident expert guides us through some easy-to-follow instructions.
Parallel to our painted lines, our initial strokes are a little wobbly; but the lead artist’s charisma helps to breakdown our artistic inhibitions, and makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable. We begin to feel more confident, relaxed and start having fun with colours while we sip our drink and engage in brief conversations with the fellow enthusiast sitting next to us. Bob Ross we finally hear you.
Deep in the flow now, we wield our brush (or so we think) like a Renaissance master, occasionally pausing to nibble playfully on the end, marvelling at our progress. Buzzing with pride and a sense of satisfaction, we secretly start to think maybe we’ve missed our true calling.
The party’s duration is two hours with a 15 minute break in-between. And we can confirm, it’s a great way to meet people. So if you’re new to the city; or just looking to expand your circle; it’s worth putting your name in the frame. By the end of the class, we have one masterpiece, a few more friends and happy memories to take back home.
On a separate note, does anybody know if you can still get housing deposits back if there’s a ceiling mural that’s suddenly appeared during a term of residence? Asking for a friend.
AED 140 per person; duration two hours. Upcoming art parties – Sheraton Creek Hotel Dubai; 29th June, Double Tree by Hilton JBR, Dubai. Registration at www.artistpals.com is essential