Qatar’s art scene has proved to be resilient and vibrant amid the many challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic, Qatari artist and architect Mohamed Faraj al-Suwaidi has said.
“We have been through a lot this past year and I am very proud to see the art scene continue to and thrive as a community despite all the difficult obstacles that we have faced this year,” he told Gulf Times.
Al-Suwaidi, also an animator and designer, highlighted some of the major achievements of the country in the area of arts and culture during the Qatar National Day on December 18.
“The public’s growing positive response to the exhibitions this year has become a key achievement – enabling the artists to create a dialogue with the visitors and spread awareness of various issues and experiences that we have been through,” he stressed.
Doha-based artist Michael Anthony Perrone, one of the 17 artists who are taking part in a Qatar Museums (QM) initiative, Jedariart, shared the same view earlier saying that artworks have become “more approachable, more relevant to the average persons’ life”.
Jedariart, a month-long public art programme launched in November, forms part of QM’s ongoing campaign to activate shared urban areas in Doha and add meaning to the city’s walls through carefully curated murals and street art.
QM also launched ‘Fannek’ last month to provide “a gateway for Culture Pass members to explore the country’s public art scene through tours, talks and workshops”.
It is learnt that the number of exhibitions and galleries, including the virtual shows, in Qatar continue to increase despite the different challenges.
A unique exhibition titled 'In Downtown', held at Msheireb Downtown Doha in October, also attracted many artists and art enthusiasts, featuring the works of 17 Doha-based artists, including al-Suwaidi.
Other participating artists include Abeer al-Kuwari, Alexandra Oddie, Bachir Mohamed, Dana Said, Fatima al-Naimi, Hassan Manasrah, Nasser al-Attiyah, Nasser al-Kubaisi, Shahida Ahmed, Shua’a Ali al-Muftah, Ali Hassan, al-Johara (AJ) al-Thani, Nour Elhadi, Omar al-Shahabi, Dimitrije Bugarski, and Rashid al-Kuwari.
In October, the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) organised guided tours for students across various schools in the country, allowing them to visit the galleries of the museum virtually as the learn more about Qatar’s history from their respective classrooms.
NMoQ reopened on October 1 as part of gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions (Phase 4), and witnessed the debut of ‘Splendours of the Ancient East: Antiquities from the Al-Sabah Collection Special Exhibition.’
The recently-held Katara Traditional Dhow Festival 2020 at the Katara also brought together many Doha-based artists who had the opportunity to showcase their works at a dedicated section at the Katara beach.