For such a small city in a small country, Doha has a surprising amount of art galleries; The Museum of Islamic Art, designed by the world renowned I.M. Pei, Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art, the Al Markhiya Art Gallery in Souq Waqif, the galleries at Katara…its an impressive list. One art gallery you may not have heard of is the one inside the stunning architecture of Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar. A small but ideally placed gallery, as where better to have an art gallery than inside the prestigious art school?
The VCU-Q gallery shows works by not only regional and established artists, but also their own students and staff. VCU-Q Gallery has just finished showcasing their faculty’s work in an annual show entitled “F for Faculty” – a good opportunity to demonstrate the talents of the faculty and staff and to show the students that they’re not only teachers but artists in their own right. The gallery also holds shows to display their students works, including an annual graduate show called “Senior Showcase” where you can see the aspiring students’ works, before they hit the big time.
February is going to be a busy month at VCU-Q. Their community classes starting and they are hosting a “Think Tank” in their gallery. The “Think Tank” will last the whole of February and is partly inspired by the glass facade of the gallery which makes it look like a glass tank. The plan is that they will have a series of events, talks, exhibits and art works so that students, staff and those interested in art can discuss the relationship between creation and display and to create a venue in VCU-Q for dialogue and interaction.
At the end of the month, Caitlin Doherty, the Exhibitor and Speaker Curator, will gather the information and feedback to create a report which will then be used to guide VCU-Q’s development. “I want the VCU gallery and exhibitions to be on the same level as other galleries in Qatar as its the premier centre for art in the country,” said Doherty. “I’m struck by the art scene in Doha; there is a real appetite for high end art here,” Doherty enthused, noting that although Qatar is attracting global interest in the art scene here, the country is small enough for meaningful networks to be made.”