Nuart Aberdeen 2023: Everything you need to know from locations to artists
Nuart Aberdeen is returning for 2023, here's what you need to know about the street art festival.
Almost single-handedly brightening Aberdeen’s granite buildings, Nuart has made its mark on the city since the festival began in 2017.
From large murals such as Conzo & Glöbel’s 2018 The New Super Scurry on the city’s Holburn Street to Slim Safont’s 2022 The Punishment which is tucked away in the city centre, Nuart 2023 is set to deliver even more stunning art.
Artists are already in town adding the final touches to their masterpieces, with Nuart’s programme of events set to kick off on Thursday June 8 running until Sunday June 11.
So if you’ve been seeing buckets of paint around the city and are eagerly waiting for events to kick off, here’s everything you need to know about Nuart 2023.
What is Nuart?
Nuart Aberdeen is a street art festival which is widely regarded among the world’s best.
The festival first made its mark on Aberdeen in 2017, bringing dozens of international artists to the city following in the footsteps of sister city Stavanger which has held the event from 2001.
Nuart curator Martyn Reed said: “Aberdeen is slowly becoming the street art capital of the world, certainly Europe at the moment. I mean, to see these artists working at this level, they are MoMA, MOCA, museum of contemporary art quality artists.”
The festival has attracted tens of thousands of visitors and locals to the city centre, boosting local businesses and providing legacy artwork alongside new pieces of art which can be continually revisited.
Nuart is a not-for-profit event delivered by Reed Projects and supported by Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen Inspired. The festival's main aim is to make art part of people's everyday lives, which it does by challenging traditional notions of what public art is.
What is the theme of Nuart 2023?
Nuart 2023’s theme is Rewilding. As a street art event, the team behind the festival are looking to explore the connections between trespassing and rewilding, from commissioned art such as the festival’s murals to the tags laid by local artists.
The event's website asks: “In a culture of the permissioned and commissioned mural where the tag still runs wild and free, how do we harness the power of one without losing the vitality and exuberance of the other?”
The theme is already sparking conversations among local artists with Aberdeen’s Skeps, 21, taking to city streets ahead of the festival to create a large mural expressing his frustration with the lack of Scottish artists participating.
When is Nuart Aberdeen 2023?
Running each summer, Nuart 2023 will take place from June 8 to June 11.
The launch event – Night at the Museum: Carlo McCormick in conversation with Swoon – will run from 7pm on Thursday evening at Aberdeen Art Gallery.
Cultural critic Carlo McCormick and Brooklyn-based artist Caledonia Curry, Swoon, will discuss the importance of making art accessible and providing commentary on a number of social and environmental issues.
What’s on at Nuart?
On Friday June 9, from 11am to 5pm the Nuart Plus Street Art Conference will take place at Aberdeen Art Gallery.
Covering a range of topics and discussing the themes of trespassing and rewilding, a number of speakers will share their thoughts.
From 9pm, Fight Club (aka the Pub Debate) will take place at Spin Bar and Diner followed by music until 1am.
On Saturday June 10, the conference will resume from 11am at Aberdeen Art Gallery, focusing on the festival’s goal of “rewilding” the city, with input from a number of Nuart artists.
Events will conclude with the Closing Party: F*ck Art, Let’s Dance, which will take place at Spin bar from 9pm until late.
While the conference will be focused on a number of discussions, there’s no need to be intimidated if you would like to get involved.
Open to children and adults aged from 3–99, the Chalk Don’t Chalk event will see Scottish artist KMG take to Marischal College to attempt the world’s largest chalk drawing with a small army of helpers.
The event will include face painting, glitter tattoos with bonus additional workshops also taking place throughout the weekend.
Nuart Aberdeen 2023 Street Art Walking Tours
One of the most popular events of the festival, Nuart walking tours will commence from 1.30pm on Saturday.
There will be a further two tours at 2.30pm and 3.30pm, and on Sunday June 11 the first tour will begin at 2pm followed by a 3pm tour.
If joining a large group doesn’t appeal to you, you can also plan your own route through Aberdeen Inspired’s website using their Nuart map.
Nuart Aberdeen 2023 locations
As with previous years, many locals will have an understanding of where art will be popping up having seen cherry pickers with artists working diligently popping up across the city.
Here is each location which has been revealed so far:
- Thistle Lane
- Rose Street
- Primark building, Rennie’s Wynd
- Crooked Lane
- Flourmill Lane
- Crooked Lane
- Poynernook Road
Other walls which are still to be confirmed are at Aberdeen International Airport, Whitehouse Street flats, Union Point and Atholl House.
Which artists are taking part in Nuart 2023?
Thirteen artists from all over the world will leave behind a permanent legacy in Aberdeen with their works this year.
Aida Wilde, an Iranian-born and London-based printmaker, has taken part in the festival when it launched in 2017. Helping Aida create her art this year will be young refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine who are attending Aberdeen schools.
British artist Jamie Reid, who is best known for designing album covers for punk band the Sex Pistols, is taking part in this year’s festival – as is English artist Stanley Donwood, who is known for producing artwork for band Radiohead and Glastonbury festival.
Artists returning to Nuart include Scottish artist KMG and UK duo SNIK – both marking their third year creating art for the festival.
The full list of artists participating is as follows:
- Eloise Gillow
- Jamie Reid
- Manolo Mesa
- Stanley Donwood
- Tamara Alves
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