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Bigger and better: Aberdeen street art festival Nuart will return this summer

Photo of one of Nuart's murals in Aberdeen.
Nuart Aberdeen will return in June 2022. Photo by Clarke Joss.

Popular Aberdeen street art festival Nuart – which has transformed many city buildings since it began in 2017 – will be back this summer, with organisers appealing for walls to be “blank canvases”.

The festival weekend will feature street artists creating new murals and works, events, community workshops, talks, as well as tours of the works.

Aberdeen Inspired, which is behind the event, say this year’s instalment is shaping up to be the most exciting one to date.

Thousands of people are expected to head into the city centre over the course of the Nuart – which will take place from Thursday June 9 until Sunday June 12 – to take in the murals and installations as they are created, as well as existing ones.

Over the years, more than 30 street artists hailing from the USA, Europe, Australia, South America and the UK have created beautiful works of art on the city’s walls, pavements, billboards and even potholes, transforming the city centre into an outdoor public gallery.

nuart aberdeen to return in 2022
Nuart Aberdeen 2021: Finished artwork by Fanakapan. Photo by Kenny Elrick

Nuart Aberdeen festival weekend

The organisers are particularly excited the 2022 festival will return to its original long weekend format. Last year, due to coronavirus precautions in place, talented artists travelled to Aberdeen to create stunning works of art over a six-week period.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “Nuart Aberdeen is a festival unlike any other seen in the city, it has a mass appeal and it inspires people of all ages to enjoy art in their own way at their own pace.

“We are delighted to be bringing the festival back to the city centre this year and locals and visitors can expect to see work from some of the finest internationally-acclaimed street artists.”

Which walls do you want to see turned into works of art?

Critical to making the festival a success are walls. Aberdeen Inspired are appealing to property owners to become part of the event by putting forward potential walls for artists to make their own during the festival.

In particular, the Business Improvement District is still on the hunt for a few big external city centre walls in good condition, visible to the public and not granite or listed.

Email if you wish to submit a wall. The organisers will need a photo of the wall, its address and approximate dimensions.

CEO of Aberdeen Inspired Adrian Watson in front of Aberdeen Market.
CEO of Aberdeen Inspired Adrian Watson.

City centre recovery

Mr Watson also wanted to highlight the importance of festivals like Nuart to the city centre recovery.

He said: “City centre businesses from hotels to restaurants and shops will enjoy a much-needed boost to the local economy as a direct result of Nuart Aberdeen.

“We not only expect to welcome thousands of visitors over the course of the festival weekend, but indeed year-round people will flock to the city to take in the art, go on a public walking tour and enjoy all the city centre has to offer.

“Nuart Aberdeen has firmly placed Aberdeen on the global stage as a destination of choice for street art enthusiasts. This coupled with our developing food scene, café culture, reopening of Union Terrace Gardens, superb theatres, clubs and pubs and other attractions all help to position Aberdeen as a great place to live, work and visit.”

Sadly, the Granite City lost one of its most famous Nuart murals by German duo Herakut when Aberdeen Market was demolished in March.

This year’s theme is ‘reconnect’

The first Nuart festival in Stavanger in Norway took place in 2001 under the direction and curation of its creator Martyn Reed who would like to see locals in Aberdeen reconnecting with art.

He said: “We’ve asked the artists and guests to consider the theme of ‘Reconnect’ for 2022. Reconnecting with each other, with public space, with dreams and hope for the future…

“Hopefully, Nuart can help in easing the collective anxiety we’ve all been feeling these past few years and bring back a sense of community.”

Jenny Laing, leader of Aberdeen City Council which is the festival’s major funding partner, added: “Nuart has truly captured the hearts and minds of the public and we hope to continue to build on that success to further position Aberdeen as a city with a rich and varied cultural offering that locals and visitors from near and far can enjoy.”

Stay tuned for more details in coming weeks, including which artists will be arriving in the Granite City.

In the meantime, discover past Nuart artworks thanks to our interactive map.

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