Qatar Foundation (QF) has installed murals, painted by budding local artists, outside the Education City Stadium to highlight the vibrancy of the organisation.
The idea for the murals came about when the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) was finishing preparations to launch the Education City Stadium in 2019. They wanted to create a lively and engaging space outside the stadium that captures the essence of its unique location – in the midst of the vibrant QF environment that hosts universities, schools, research centres, and year-round community activities.
The SC put out a call for local artists, particularly from the nearby Virginia Commonwealth School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar), a partner university of QF, inviting them to paint the walls outside the stadium with artworks that capture life in Education City, Qatari culture, spirit of football, and more.
“The brief was to build murals around the stadium that depict what Education City means to us and depict something that has an aspect of the local culture—something that speaks to the community,” said Mohamed Jawad, an alumnus of VCUarts Qatar who participated in designing the murals. “We had about 10 days to two weeks, so there was a pretty short timeframe to decide what to paint and actually do it.”
Jawad, who has spent almost a decade studying and working at QF, was excited to get involved and reflect what the campus means to him through his artwork.
His mural comprised different faces of people drawn with one continuous line, signifying the unity amid the diverse community within Education City, and Qatar as a whole. Jawad added that the unity and resilience that the people of Qatar have shown, especially after the blockade of the country by its neighbours, was what inspired his artwork.
“It really came down to the theme of power among the people and how—when they unify as one—they can achieve a lot,” said Jawad. “And what also really encapsulates my experience of Education City is the diversity of people and the unity within them.”
About 15 artists participated in designing the murals, mostly VCUarts Qatar students and alumni. The project was managed by SC employee and local artist Yasser al-Mulla, in collaboration with Mubarak al-Malik, a well-known Qatari graffiti artist.
“Engaging the local community is at the heart of our plans and preparations for the FIFA World Cup and this project is a testament to our efforts to include everyone on our journey to 2022,” said al-Mulla.
“Each mural tells a story about Qatar, its history, people, and rich culture. Fans visiting Education City Stadium in 2022 will get a taste of the county’s burgeoning art culture and will be able to form discussions about the depictions in the murals. Like football, there is no language barrier for art. You can have people who speak different languages, with different views, all come together to enjoy it."
The installation of murals in collaboration with the local community around the stadium is an example of the various activities SC organises to ensure engagement of the stadiums with the public, and a lasting legacy for these massive infrastructure developments beyond 2022.