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Gailani Art Retreat gets award for best social media campaign.

by Mobin Mathew Blesson/ The Gailani Art Retreats is a full-day "artistic escape" retreat that is held once a month and brings together creative souls to paint to global music rhythms. -- Supplied photo

Muscat: The Gailani Art Retreat received a Silver Award for Best Social Media Campaign during the first edition of the Oman Tech Awards 2016.

The Gailani Art Retreat is a creative getaway for people, who even if they have never painted before, can venture into self discovery using painting and music.

The retreat has been organised by a contemporary artist, Ibrahim Gailani, who lives in Muscat, Oman where he operates his art studio and is a self-taught contemporary artist.

It celebrated 40th retreat milestone on May 14.

"This award was most important to me because it coincides with the observance of the 40th Gailani Art Retreat," Gailani told the Times of Oman (TOO).

"This award is also vital because it was about community engagement though the Art Retreat Facebook page, a cause which was met with major scepticism when I started the retreat over three years ago," he added.

According to him, the 40th retreat's milestone on Saturday marked the number of attendees rising to 600, making it the most socially engaging art community activity in Oman.

This is the second win for Gailani, who won the Gold for his Artist website at the Oman Web Awards in 2014.

"But this award is special because the winning category was based on community engagement; it has an even greater meaning for me," Gailani said. "When I arrived on the art scene, I felt that the masses were very distant from the art scene. There wasn't an inclusive environment and art exhibitions were visited by the elite--I was bent on changing that and making art accessible and inclusive," stated Gailani.

Gailani, who is also a member of the Omani Society of Fine arts, has made a conscious effort to bring art to the masses, to give insights to the non-artist, and use social media to spread the philosophy of Art that has been the greatest success of Gailani.

"It's for this reason that the win is a validation of the efforts in spreading the word of art to all, which has been recognised and appreciated, Gailani stated.

The Gailani Art Retreat's Facebook page won the silver award and has over 11,600 followers, and its posts have gotten over 109,000 views through Facebook campaigns and promotional tools used by Gailani.

The Gailani Art Retreats is a full-day "artistic escape" retreat that is held once a month and brings together creative souls to paint to global music rhythms.

Participants meditate, connect with their inner consciousness, and paint their feelings on the canvas, and then share it with the entire group.

"One doesn't need to be a trained artist for these retreats, one should just be willing to let the creativity flow," Gailani said.

Photographers, musician, writers, doctors and lawyers will also attend to let the blockages of their world be released through art.

These retreats are always held on a weekend and last for eight hours; with five hours of painting, two hours of discussions, and one hour of meal breaks.

Gailani also manages and markets art related events and is a guest lecturer and teacher conducting art workshops for Art Colleges and students at different schools in Muscat.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:7OMAN
Date:May 14, 2016
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