What’s On pals over at Hype preview STREETCON Dubai at Al Ghurair Centre, an Urban Art Festival celebrating art, music, culture in Dubai.

Meet d3
Street Nights JBR
– Street Nights DXB
UAE street artists
JLT art project
– ‘Rehlatna’ (Our Journey)

Both local and international artists will descend on Al Ghurair Centre at the end of April to showcase their talent, delivering live performances of all creative disciplines.

Ahead of the launch on April 23, our pals at Hype spoke with curator Rollan Rodriguez.

Where are you from? The Philippines.

What do you do here? I manage my own design studio, APE Creative.

What is STREETCON? STREETCON, which stands for Street Art Connection, is an urban art festival organised by Al Ghurair Centre, and APE Creative, my design studio, curates it. The event is one of Al Ghurair Centre’s signature annual events, and it celebrates art, music and culture. This year the event runs from April 23 to May 2.

How many artists are involved? More than 40 talented and awesome artists are taking part. And it won’t just be local artists – there’ll be a good mix of both Dubai-based and international artists showing their work.

StreetCon Dubai at Al Ghurair Centre

Will you be showcasing any of your own work? I wanted to give some other, newer, artists a chance to showcase their works, so I’m mostly backstage on this one and will be focusing on making sure the overall event goes well.

Apart from art, what else is going on? There are plenty of things to see other than art. We’ll be holding workshops for kids and adults, and there’ll be interactive art installations, some family entertainment and loads more. There are so many things to look out for, really, but the free workshops, by some of the most talented artists in town, are definitely worth checking out.

StreetCon Dubai at Al Ghurair Centre

What in particular is exciting you about this year’s STREETCON event? Since the inception of STREETCON, aside from the great artworks, I get excited about seeing people from all walks of life, artists and non-artists, getting together to celebrate art.

What’s the story behind STREETCON? It was conceived just last year but the 2014 event proved to be really successful – so successful that this year’s event is going to be even bigger, with more entertainment, activities and art-related activities. At the centre of it lies Al Ghurair Centre’s mission to uphold its reputation as being at the heart of the city and Dubai’s original urban hub. So I helped bring that vision to reality and coined STREETCON.

What do you think of Dubai’s street art scene? It’s really thriving at the moment, and I’m so happy to see it benefit the artists, as well as the public here. There wasn’t much of a scene here when I arrived in Dubai. But thanks to the people who’ve worked hard to create the culture; it’s becoming a lot more mainstream now. And if the artists remain active and vigilant, the art scene will continue to grow.

StreetCon Dubai at Al Ghurair Centre

– Architects of Air’s spectacular Miracoco Luminarium. This maze of winding paths and soaring domes is an inspiring monument to the beauty of light and colour. Designed to give up to 80 people at one time an ephemeral sensory experience of encountering light, the huge labyrinth of colour and music will be in the open-air car park on Al Rigga Road.

– International artist Eduardo Kobra, famous for his stunning project Walls of Memory, will be creating a mural that will stay at the Al Ghurair Centre permanently.

– Dubai-based crew Brownmonkeys are amongst the local artists getting involved. Be sure to check out their alternative approach to contemporary art and design.

April 23 to May 2
STREETCON, Al Ghurair Centre, Deira, Dubai, 1pm to 10pm, free. Metro: Union Square. alghuraircentre.com/streetcon

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