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Qatar tribune



On the occasion of World Art Day, celebrated annually on April 15, Qatari visual artists have lauded the role of Qatar Museums and its Fire Station: Artist in Residence in nurturing the cultural, creative and artistic landscape in visual arts, solidifying Qatar’s position as a leading destination for creativity and a regional hub for culture and arts through its artist residency programmes in its studios in Doha, International City of Arts in Paris, France, and International Studio & Curatorial Programme in New York, USA.

Director of Fire Station: Artist in Residence Khalifa Ahmed Al Obaidly emphasised that World Art Day represents a vital opportunity to highlight the importance of art as a tool for cultural expression, dialogue between civilisations and a celebration of human creativity.

He highlighted the profound impact of art on societies and the need to support artists by providing platforms for their work and fostering opportunities for dialogue and inspiration.

Obaidly elaborated on Fire Station: Artist in Residence’s role in providing a space for creativity through its artist residency programmes, stressing that these programmes engage the local community in Qatar through various events and opportunities, including exhibitions and public programmes.

He pointed out that since its inception in 2015, Fire Station’s artist residency programme has consistently provided a supportive and stimulating environment for artists, contributing to the development of their talents and artistic expertise.

The programme aims to expand its scope in the future and strengthen the interaction of artists with the global art scene by offering new opportunities for learning and cultural and creative exchange.

Obaidly stated that the artistic residency programme at Fire Station offers a range of distinguished programmes, including the pioneer artistic residency programme, the studio and international curators programme, and the art curators programme, which attracts museum curators and art exhibition organisers.

Each programme aims to provide unique experiences and various development opportunities for both resident and Qatari artists. The pioneer artistic residency programme offers artists the opportunity to explore and refine their artistic practices in an internal creative environment, while the studio and international curators programme allows artists to participate in long-term residencies in New York City and Paris to enable them to engage with an international artistic community, expand their knowledge and techniques, and provides opportunities for cultural professionals to gain experience and knowledge in museum management and art exhibition organisation, thus contributing to the development of cultural institutions in Qatar.

These programmes are considered pivotal stages in artists’ lives, providing them with the opportunity to acquire the skills and expertise necessary to produce high-quality artistic works and participate confidently and creatively in the international art scene.

Regarding their efforts to enhance openness to the global art and creative scene, Obaidly said that openness to the global art and creative scene is a vital element for the development of art and culture in Qatar, adding that through programmes such as artistic residencies and collaboration with international institutions, artists have the opportunity to gain deeper perspectives on diverse artistic practices and explore new horizons for their works.

He added that Fire Station organised various events that encourage and stimulate openness to the global art and creative scene.

In a similar statement to QNA, Visual Artist Ahmed Nouh highlighted the significance of dedicating a global day to art, considering it as an opportunity to achieve the desired goals of developing visual arts, nurturing them and celebrating their producers and creators.

He emphasised that the artistic residency has been a nurturing environment for his project and aspirations.

He pointed out that Qatar Museums, through the residency programme, has encouraged new initiatives and creative experiments based on research, experimentation and fluctuating ideas, thus contributing to making them achievable.

Nouh explained that the artistic residency in Paris provided him with time and opportunity for contemplation and reflection on his artistic project.

He also pointed out that Qatar Museums enabled artists through their partnerships and programmes with the City of Arts in Paris to engage and explore the experiences of global artists, forming visual relationships with art museums there and their new contemporary trends.

He stressed that his experience in the artistic residency in Doha and Paris in 2018 was a significant milestone in his artistic journey, leaving a psychological and moral impact and making him look forward with his ideas towards the future and expanding his aspirations.

Visual Artist Saeeda Al Khelaifi appreciated the dedication of a global day for art, considering it as an acknowledgment of the experiences of creators and a celebration of them.

She noted that art is a means of self-expression and that the visual or auditory language of art enriches the soul and expresses culture, as well as serves as a means of local and global communication.

Khelaifi, who holds a master’s degree in museums and exhibitions from the University College London, explained that her experience in the artistic residency in 2022 was in New York City, rich in museums and exhibitions, as part of the International Studio and Curatorial Programme.

She said this programme provided her with the opportunity to meet artists from all over the world, which had a positive impact on her artistic works, and opened up opportunities for her to develop her experience through critique sessions and open studio events.

She stated that the artistic residency hosts more than 30 artists under one roof, providing a wonderful opportunity to connect with artists from all over the world, including Europe, America, Canada, South America and East Asia, where artistic practices and the use of artistic materials vary, all of which are valuable experiences that help in developing art and enriching personal experience.

Visual Artist Lolwah Al Mughaisib considered dedicating a global day for art as a celebration of all fine arts, including painting, photography, sculpture and design and also serves to raise awareness about the importance of various artistic activities worldwide, emphasising the necessity of development, creativity and innovation in all artistic and cultural fields.

She noted that her experience in the artistic residency at the International City of Art in Paris, France, in 2022 was a source of artistic and cultural enrichment for her.

Over three months, she acquainted herself with various artistic materials, mediums, colours and inks, engaging in discussions with her fellow participants in the programme on cultural issues and diverse topics. This stimulated her to raise questions about her artistic project.

She emphasised that the richness of the artistic residency experience is also reflected in mingling with creators from different parts of the world and learning about global cultures and diverse experiences of artists from various schools and trends in painting, drawing and artistic direction.

This enhanced her experience in drawing and her ability to express opinions and seek out the new.

She highlighted the qualitative addition achieved by participating artists in the artistic residency programme through visiting diverse museums and exhibitions, acquainting themselves with different artistic experiences, cognitive trends and various new creative experiences.

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