Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art – established by Qatar Museums in partnership with Qatar Foundation – is hosting a student exhibition for the sixth edition of the annual Student Art Competition and Exhibition (SAC&E). Marking the largest edition to date, the exhibition features the works of 94 students from various schools in Qatar and will be open to the public until 25 May at the Education Space (Manara) at Mathaf.

Mathaf’s philosophy places creativity, education, and appreciation for art at the core of its strategy. Its dynamic methodologies and enriching educational programmes encourage students to develop analytical and critical thinking skills and to study the history of modern and contemporary art in the region. 

This year’s SAC&E theme is ‘harmony’. Harmony in art is the visually satisfying effect of combining similar, related elements. It has no fixed rules and can be subject to individual interpretation. Inspired by Mathaf’s permanent collection, students were invited to create works that engage with the proposed theme, in both visual and conceptual ways. Using a variety of media ranging from sketches to painting and sculpture, students explored and represented the idea of harmony from their own perspectives and experiences.

A jury of artists and museum professionals in Qatar evaluated the works and chose the final artworks that were displayed at the exhibition. This year the following schools participated in the competition: Abi Ayoub Al-Ansari Model School; Arabian Gulf Model School for Boys; The Next Generation School; Smaisma Primary School for Boys; Amna bint Wahab Preparatory School; Hafsa Preparatory School for Girls; Al Khor Model School for Boys; Abou Bakr Al Seddik School for Boys; Qatar Preparatory School for Girls; Shafallah Centre for Children with Special Needs; and Dukhan Primary, Preparatory and Secondary Independent School for Boys.

Prior to the exhibition, Mathaf educators worked with students in a series of one-on-one sessions, guiding their creative process. As with every edition, students were encouraged to push the boundaries of their imaginations, and explore new and unexpected methods of representing their ideas.

Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf, said:

The Student Art Competition and Exhibition is one of our strategic programmes, connecting Qatar Foundation and Qatar Museums’ vision, as it contributes to nurturing creativity, education, and sharing knowledge while looking at heritage through Mathaf Collection works.

This year’s achievement of school children is impressive – the quality of research and collaboration made participants create their own interpretations and dialogues around the theme of ‘harmony’. We are looking forward to seeing how the public reacts to their works.’

Home to a permanent collection that offers a uniquely comprehensive overview of modern Arab art, Mathaf plays an important role as a centre for dialogue and scholarship and a resource for fostering creativity in Qatar and the region.