By Mudassir Raja
The young and buddying artists of Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) are taking part in ‘Minber’ exhibition organised by W Doha Hotel & Residences at its ART 29 gallery.
As many as 15 senior and junior artists from the university are showcasing their works. Most of them are displaying their work for the first time in a public place. The gallery hosts several pieces of art that reflect individual identities and represents students’ several years of research and creative practice. The exhibition is open for the public till December 10. The gallery will remain open from 10am to 10pm every day.
‘Minber’, meaning ‘the stage’ in Arabic, is a celebration of the artistic practices and creative skills of the young students. The participating artists, include Amna al-Muftah, Amna al-Thani, Amira Radhi, Munira al-Thani, Aisha al-Abdulla, Salma Awad, Tiflah al-Naimi, Sarah al-Joyyousi, Peppy Prathyusha, Joseph Zampetti, Maryam al-Thani, Amena al-Mulla, Yara Elfouly, Hana Elleithy and Noor Alsheibani.
The exhibition depicts how the students employed a variety of approaches, materials and techniques into their paintings and printmaking. The works show the research techniques and styles that the artists have put into their pieces. The art pieces include different genres of painting, various techniques and different models created by the students using different materials and daily use items.
On the opening evening, the visitors took keen interest in the nascent works of the young artists. The artists were happy to see the feedback of the visitors.
Talking to Community, Hana Elleithy, Senior artist with painting and printmaking as major, said, “I started drawing and painting when I was very young. My grandfather was an artist and I grew up watching him paint. After I finished my school, I decided to study art.”
She said, “This is my second exhibition. My first exhibition was at the university. It is a wonderful exposure for us as students. We get to experience for what it is like to be in the real art world outside the parameters of the university. I like to paint realistically to some extent. I am also studying to be a certified yoga instructor and yoga has become a part of my studio life as well. Three of my paintings, show three different yoga postures targeting different things physically, emotionally and spiritually. I play with colours and with atmosphere. I usually use oil paints.”
Salma Awad said, “I am a junior artist. I have exhibited my work that I have created during my ongoing semester. I was interested in sketching when I was in school. My mother noticed my talent and she supported me in pursuit of my art studies. This is my first exhibition. I am a little bit overwhelmed. I am looking forward to the response of the visitors. I am very excited. My work in the exhibition shows my imagination. I am a nature loving person. As a student, it is a new and a good experience to have an exhibition here.”
Rhys Himsworth, Assistant Professor at the Department of Painting and Print Works at VCU Qatar, said, “We have brought mix of seniors and juniors to take part in the exhibition in collaboration with W Doha. The students are excited and getting little stressed. They get little apprehensive because of course in the school they are always making works for private audience. This is first time that they are showing it to the public audience. We have friends, family, media and general public here scrutinising their works. They also ask questions. It could be a daunting experience but it is exciting.
Wassim Daaje, General Manager of W Doha said, “W Doha has become known for its commitment to display artwork from emerging local and regional talent. We are always looking for opportunities to provide young, aspiring artists a platform in which they can showcase their hard work and express their artistic style. We are very excited to introduce a new journey of creative experience and the exploration of 15 diverse emerging artists coming together to create one unique voice.”
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