Posted on November 13, 2017

In a progressive and unprecedented step for the region, Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec), in collaboration with Qatar Museums, today inaugurated MENA’s first Solar Art Festival – a two-week fair that celebrates and promotes sustainability, the multiple uses of solar energy and awareness about the increasingly central role that renewable energy will occupy in future across the globe.

Notably, the maiden edition of the festival is held under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums. Scheduled 14 – 25 November 2017, the Solar Art Festival offers guided tours every day at Fire Station - Artist in Residence, where organizers have brought together a collection of exceptional solar art commissions, created by globally renowned solar artists and Qatar-based students alike.

This year, the art exhibits in the public gallery include the works of a wide range of international artisans who have dedicated themselves to recreational uses of solar energy. On display are articles from Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun, a global project that produces and distributes solar lamps for use in off-grid communities; Craig Colorusso’s Sun Boxes, a composite of audio speakers and solar panels that come together to create an energizing environment; Anthony Castronovo and Eleonora Nicoletti’s Solar Shimmer, a kinetic screen that displays vibrant, geometric patterns using discarded plastics and solar energy; and the student-made Shams Mashrabiya, a living installation composed of artworks created by children in workshops preceding the festival.

Solar Art Festival also separately exhibits artworks that were developed by school and university-level students around Qatar, as part of QSTec’s award-winning Shams Generation initiative, an interdisciplinary approach to education combining science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. That annual nationwide program educates youth about the importance of environmental sustainability through hands-on interactive solar learning activities held across school campuses and universities in Qatar.

Speaking to community members at the opening ceremony of the Festival, Chairman and CEO, Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec), Dr. Khalid Klefeekh Al Hajri said, “At Qatar Solar Technologies, we are wholeheartedly dedicated to supporting Qatar as it builds a modern, efficient and diversified energy sector to complement its national development objectives. And to achieve our transformative goals, we must all play a proactive role in turning the exciting potential of a renewable-energy driven future into a reality. One way to do this is to broaden our collective understanding of solar energy and inspirit ourselves through art and education.

“Hence, with the inauguration today of the region’s premier Solar Art Festival, we wish to become both the beacon of light for our own people as well as set a positive example for our friends and partners in the region.” Solar Art Festival is the joint initiative of QSTec and Qatar Museums. The festival is also the collaborative result of QSTec’s organizing partnership with Qatar Foundation, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, WISE Initiative, Qatar Green Building Council and Fire Station – Artist in Residence.

Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud, CEO and Special Advisor to H.E. the Chairperson at Qatar Museums, said: “We are honored to be partnering with QSTec to bring the Solar Art Festival to Qatar and the region. At Qatar Museums, we believe that art can be an important tool in creating dialogue and raising awareness towards key subjects. We’re therefore proud to be hosting works byboth Qatar-based and globally renowned solar artists to promote and celebrate sustainability and the role of solar energy in defining the country’s future.”

In an effort to promote a greater understanding of renewable energies amongst families, adults and children, entry to the gallery is offered free of charge.Furthermore, a Solar Art Forum is scheduled to be held at 7:00 PM on 14 November, where registered public participants may meet the artists during an interactive panel discussion on solar design and the prospects of this field in the future. A series of informative interactive workshops for children and adults –led by a team comprising visiting solar artists as well as QSTec’s Shams Generation initiative educators – are also scheduled throughout the fair’s duration. To participate, interested community members may register for free by logging on to www.solarfestival.qa

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