The Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC), in partnership with the Katara – the Cultural Village in Doha, unveiled its newest virtual exhibition experience titled “Women of the Pandemic” on June 13.
QAIC is a Washington DC-based independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation that creates, curates, and executes programmes and research that amplify the prominence of all forms of art and culture from the US, Qatar, and the larger Arab and Islamic worlds.
Featuring female artists from both the US and Qatar, the exhibition is a reflection of the realities experienced by creative women living in the midst of a global pandemic whose artistic voices persisted in spite of the chaos that surrounded them.
The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly impacted the livelihoods of many women around the world. While they always faced challenges in balancing life, work, and all that which lies between, the pandemic has required many women to make difficult trade-offs and great sacrifices.
For women pursuing a life as a creative artist, this reality is no different; in extreme cases, the difficulties posed by the pandemic has forced some to abandon their artistic endeavours all together.
As cultural centres whose missions focus on supporting creative communities, QAIC and Katara banded together in an effort to showcase the resiliency of artists who faced unprecedented adversity posed by a global pandemic and the works produced as a result.
As an exhibition, “Women of the Pandemic” is an intersection of narratives told by women artists of diverse backgrounds. Their recent selected works are now viewable on a virtual exhibition hosted by Katara and will run for the duration of the summer.
This fall, the physical exhibition will be hosted for public viewing at QAIC’s headquarters in Washington, DC.
The exhibition features four artists each from Qatar and the US with featured works including paintings, photographs, and mixed media. The artists from Qatar are Maryam al-Khaldi, Haifa al-Khuzai, Abeer al-Kuwari, and Jawahir al-Mannai. The artists from the US are Sarah Ahmad, Anna U Davis, Alexandra N Sherman, and Jordann Wine.
Following the launch of the virtual exhibition on June 13, QAIC and Katara will co-host a virtual panel discussion with the women artists participating in the exhibition titled “Creativity in Quarantine: Women of the Pandemic.”
The conversation will explore the commonalities and differences experienced from this shared global event by these artists from contrasting environments and backgrounds.
The creative industry worldwide was irrevocably affected by the Covid-19 pandemic amid strict lockdown measures and social distancing policies.
As many working artists were left vulnerable to gallery closures, exhibition cancellations, and income loss, it is a major goal of the “Women of the Pandemic” initiative to reintroduce platforms for artists to share their vision and connect with audiences, even if through virtual means.