ABU DHABI, UAE – Imagine a Saturday evening in a beautiful space, doing some art with friends and family. Now add some live music and poetry. Sounds good, but a tad bit lonely, right? Well, add a crowd! How does the entire Abu Dhabi Community for a crowd sound? Now we’re talking! All this and only one name that comes to your mind… Blank Canvas Community!

Blank Canvas Community (BCC), hosted one of the most welcoming and genuine events that brought together people of all ages and backgrounds together in a positive, warm, inclusive environment filled with art, music, poetry and food! After attending Expression Sessions XIII and learning about all of their upcoming sessions, a world of opportunities unlocked right before me… to get creative, meet new people, and get inspired in Abu Dhabi!

“These workshops give the community a platform to meet each other, regardless of their artistic level and background, this also is a true reflection of social inclusion”, says co-founder of this initiative, Christina Awad.


Blank Canvas believes that, through empowerment and collaboration, a foundation for a resilient and responsible community can be built.


This event was a very accurate outcome of the BCC’s intention! As a first-timer at their Expression Sessions event, I decided to bring my grandmother with me. I was a little skeptical about whether or not it would be an appropriate environment, but I took the chance and brought her anyway. I had absolutely chosen right! Everyone, from the Blank Canvas Community team to the community of people they brought together, were unbelievably warm and welcoming. They took care of my grandma, even better than I did! I was too busy making new friends. *guilty, but not guilty*

Christina explains how this most recent event of theirs, Expression Sessions XIII, which was held on a Saturday, was in dedication to the Late Founding Father, H.H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.


“’100 pieces for 100 years’ painted by 100 people from all walks of life, to commemorate his 100 years of impact and everlasting legacy.” 

For Part 1 of the event, every attendee was seated around a U-shaped table with smaller canvases, paint and brushes in front of them. Every canvas put-together would later create a larger 3x3m portrait of Sheikh Zayed.

For part 2, collaborative paper quilling session led by Order out of Chaos, creating beautiful designs that were added onto the canvas, creating an artistic, pop-out effect.


“If it weren’t for his vision, the UAE wouldn’t be the tolerant and multicultural hub that it is.” 

As right as that is, Blank Canvas Community is definitely fueling Sheikh Zayed’s vision within the Abu Dhabi Community. I would highly encourage everyone to join in on one of their events (and there are certainly more coming up!)


Blank Canvas is a community building initiative, which holds space for people to express themselves individually and collectively through collaborative activities. It all began in Melbourne, Australia in 2014 and we re-launched in the UAE 3 years ago with a mission to (Re)build community through Art. We use the medium of painting to bring the community together to create unified Art pieces that revolve around themes of identity, culture, home and the human experience.

Blank Canvas Community holds monthly creative events in Abu Dhabi (and occasionally Dubai) which include communal Art, live music and poetry, you can find more information on:

Facebook: facebook.com/blankcanvas.community

Instagram: www.instagram.com/blankcanvas.community



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