Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. Great polymath and author-inventor-political theorist Benjamin Franklin’s wise words pretty much sums up how important involvement is to learning new skills.
For its Spring 2017 Community Education Program, the Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCU-Q) has rolled out a wide range of art, design and craft courses at VCU-Q in Education City and at IAID (Academy for Dance, Music & Arts) that seeks to involve the creative side of you. You can either register online (qatar.vcu.edu) or visit VCU-Q for in-person registration during normal office hours, from Sunday to Thursday, 9am to 12pm, and 1pm to 4pm.
“Learn new skills and deepen your understanding of art and culture at VCU-Qatar. While registration is open until classes start, we recommend you sign up as soon as possible as seats are limited and classes sell out early. Community classes are also offered at Education City by Georgetown University,” VCU-Q says. While there are plenty of course choices across various disciplines such as photography, fine art, design, fashion design, creative writing, and craft, Community tells you about a few interesting visual-centric ones.
A compact 101 course, seasoned photographer Salim Abdulla’s Through My Eyes - A Creative Photographer’s Perspective will teach you everything from an introduction, basics and history of photography to getting to know your camera, lenses, modes and lighting techniques better. The eight-session course begins on January 30 and ends on February 22. The fees is QR1,400.
Good Morning Qatar – A Photo Walk Journey is suitable for promising and serious amateurs with a good level of knowledge about basic photographic principles. For some classes, students will be meeting offsite to do hands-on practical studies outdoors – some occasions call for meeting very early in the morning to catch the light of the “golden hours” (dawn). Abdulla will take you through everything from an introduction to ethics and trios of photography to people & portraiture photography. The course is on from February 4 to March 25. The fees is QR1,220.
Ace photographer Aparna Jayakumar will helm two Basic Photography courses – one for children from ages 9 to 14, and the other for adults, at IAID, from January 30 to February 20. The timing for the children’s course is from 4pm to 6pm, and for the adults’ course 6pm to 8pm. The four-lesson class outline covers introduction to basic concepts of photography, practical demos, shooting exercises, and editing and sharing your work. The fees is QR600.
A more advanced course by Jayakumar, also at IAID, is aimed at “those who already have a basic knowledge of photography, know how to make single images, but are keen to embark on a larger body of work, develop their visual language and sharpen their practical, technical and conceptual skills”. Titled The Photo Project for Adults, the six-part class is an opportunity to learn how to tell your stories through images by working on a long-term photography project under a mentor. In this course involving everything from shooting on the field to critiques of student work, participants will be encouraged to create new bodies of work – from conceptualising and shooting to editing and sequencing to create a narrative. The course begins on February 1 and ends on March 8. The fees is QR900.
In a Poster Design course – from February 2 to March 30; fee QR850 – maverick Canadian art director Pascale Lemelin will take you through a brief overview of poster design in history and Rule of Fives: interesting to watch from 30cm, 3 metres and 30 metres away. From aesthetics and ideas and finding the balance between both, to combining type into template and mock-ups and preprint, the course is sure to make a fine poster artist out of you.
Colourful 3D art opportunities are abound in the String Art Typography course, also by Lemelin. From basic typography terms and concepts, to creation of the templates that involve working with Arabic or Latin symbols and letters with the use of a computer, from exploring different materials for the base (wood, foam board), string (yarn, cotton strips, twine) and nails (coloured, length, tacks,) to create layers of meaning in the choice of letter(s) or words, this course – from February 4 to April 8; fee QR850 – presents endless possibilities in this medium.
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