Director of Fire Station: Artist in Residence Khalifa Ahmed al-Obaidly affirmed that the 8th edition of the Artist in Residence (AIR) Programme offers an exceptional opportunity to develop the participating artists' projects over a period of nine months.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), al-Obaidly said that the programme, scheduled from Sept 15, 2023 to June 15, 2024, will continue its distinguished role in supporting and developing the capabilities of artists in Qatar.
He added that the programme is an exceptional opportunity to develop their technical practices over a period of nine months, during which they benefit from the facilities, equipment and capabilities provided by the fire station, including a woodshop, a 3D printing workshop, and laser cutting machines, under the supervision and guidance of specialists from academic and technical institutions.
Al-Obaidly pointed out that the application period for participation in the AIR Programme gives artists plenty of time to prepare their artistic projects and their progress for submission through the programme's website on the Fire Station: Artist in Residence page, stressing the need to clearly and accurately express their art projects, and focus on the aspects that reflect their visions and enable the jury committee to recognise that this project needs support for research, discussion and development by providing support and guidance in the programme.
He said that the committee includes a group of experts from academic and artistic institutions in addition to seasoned artists, and its work will begin after the end of the application period, which ends on April 15, adding that the names of those chosen to reside in the Fire Station will be announced in May.
He noted that submission is not limited to visual artists, but the door is open to photographers, musicians, and even poets and writers, which provides an opportunity for cooperation between artists in various art fields.
On the most prominent fruits of the AIR Programme, al-Obaidly said that the public and those interested in the arts have realised the importance of the programme due to the strength of the outputs in the successive editions, through art exhibitions and distinguished works produced by the participating artists, and the development in their projects and visions after the residency experience, stressing that the presence of the artists was honourable during the preparation period to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 finals, by participating in Public Art program and Qatar Creates, as well as the initiatives to decorate and beautify the country's cities and squares with the aesthetics of art and creativity.
He said that the artists' participation spreads throughout the country, and in the public and private sectors, as the galleries of hotels, institutions and private companies became theatres for their art works and creations, which shows that the program with its various projects enjoys the support of Qatar Museums, in order to enhance the role of art in society, in line with the scientific, cultural and civilizational development and renaissance that the country is witnessing.
Qatar Museums had announced the opening of the door for Qatari artists and residents to participate in the AIR Programme from January until April 15. The programme is one of Qatar Museums' pioneering projects, which aims to support creative artists and refine their talents through many facilities.
Qatar Museums launched the AIR Programme in 2015 as a nine-month programme for artists living and working in Qatar.
The programme takes place annually from September to June, where artists are given studio space in the Fire Station building.
The residency is an opportunity for artists residing in Qatar to develop their art practice.
It includes mentorship, working with curators, visiting critics, open studios, networking opportunities, and access to the building's facilities, such as the woodshop and fabrication lab.
The programme is open to all artistic practices, including but not limited to visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, media art, installation, graphic arts, illustration, etc.), photography, filmmaking, sound art and design.
The program derives its richness from its many destinations.
In addition to the Artist in Residence programme at the Fire Station: Artist in Residence in Doha, which is dedicated to Qatari and resident artists, Qatar Museums organises the Ruwad in Residence Programme.
The program supports Qatar-based established artists.
It ensures Fire Station's connection to local artists of different career levels in order to create an exchange between established artists and local artists who are participating in the AIR programme.
Qatar Museums also organizes the three-months Artist in Residence (AIR) Programme in the International City of Arts in the French capital, Paris.
The program hosts one Qatari artist in each of its sessions, and allocates an art studio and a place to live for him, as well as experiencing the atmosphere of artistic residency in Paris, visiting the city's museums and galleries, and integrating with its artistic scene.
Qatar Museums also organizes the New York International Residency in the US at the International Studio & Curatorial Programme (ISCP).
The residency aims to raise the level of artists, promote cultural exchange, and provide an international platform for artists to tell their stories and showcase their work.