Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Education City at Qatar Foundation (QF) opened its new student exhibition, titled ‘Looking In…,’ which will run from 4 April to 31 May 2015 to celebrate its third annual Mathaf Student Art Competition and Exhibition.
The Student Art Competition gave students in Qatar the opportunity to express and develop their artistic talent and encouraged them, their teachers and parents to explore modern and contemporary art together. Head of Education at Mathaf, Maral Bedoyan, said:
The Mathaf Student Art Competition and Exhibition is going from strength to strength. Mathaf Education continues its mission to foster and enrich young artistic talent through the various educational programmes in the museum. We’re delighted to see such appetite for artistic expression amongst younger audiences and this bodes extremely well for the creative future of the country. The quality of artwork submitted this year exceeded our expectations. The breadth and range of ideas and creativity expressed in the submissions was truly inspiring.’
The theme of the third edition of the competition explored the question ‘What is a portrait?’ and invited schools to submit artworks created by students of all ages.
Following careful selection by a judging panel including UCL Qatar MA Students and Mathaf staff, 145 art works were selected for presentation to the public. The panel evaluated the artworks based on a range of criteria including:
- Concept originality: the expression of creative, unique and complex concepts.
- Inventive use of material/media: the use, execution and experimentation of material.
- Creative expression and understanding of the theme and question, ‘what is a portrait?’
- Artist statement: written or recorded by the students explaining their work and the meaning behind it.
This year, the competition attracted a record number of over 400 student applications from across 55 schools. In just three years since the competition was first launched, students from 131 schools have submitted a total of 551 artworks.
This year’s exhibition has been created and organised in partnership with students from the Museum and Gallery Practice Master’s Program at UCL Qatar. As part of the exhibition opening, a roundtable discussion with students also took place on 8 April at Mathaf as part of its ongoing educational program me called ‘Creative Conversations for Artists’. The discussion, which was attended by student artists from schools across Qatar and MA students from the UCL Qatar Museum and Gallery Practice, focused on topics including the creative processes behind their artworks and looked at the importance of art education in schools in Qatar.
To help students and teachers during the creative process of producing memorable works of art, the Mathaf Education department created a dedicated webpage for the competition. This included specific guidelines on how to participate in the competition, along with images and activities and a range of helpful resources for teachers and students. This also included information on Mathaf’s Permanent Collection and its current exhibitions including Wael Shawky: Crusades and Other Stories, a major solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed Egyptian artist Wael Shawky, which is running until 16 August 2015.
As Doha’s first museum for modern and contemporary art, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art plays a special role in the cultural life of Qatar. Presented by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Mathaf Student Art Competition and Exhibition reinforces Qatar Museum’s focus on art, creativity and heritage and its commitment of establishing creative hubs where young artists can experiment, explore and share projects with one another. The competition also supports Qatar Museum’s objective of nurturing emerging talent and enriching the lives of residents and visitors.
For more information about the exhibition, visit Mathaf’s website.