Posted on July 31, 2018

Qatar Museums (QM) is currently implementing a new strategy to prepare a generation of Qatari fine artists having global presence through its ongoing projects.

Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Director of QM's Fire Station Artist in Residence programme Khalifa al Obaidly said that QM seeks to achieve this goal through calculated planning, adding that art has become a well-established industry today and is no longer confined to being a hobby as it used to be and therefore a sound strategy is required to make the artists succeed globally. Obaidly said that since the establishment of QM, it has employed several strategies to promote Qatari artists, the latest of which was founding the Fire Station Artist in Residence Program, which is one of the strongest tools QM has to train and develop artists to succeed globally.

He said the nine-month programme hosts 18 artists, half of which are Qataris and the other half come from different nationalities that reside in Qatar. The artists are given a working studio and monthly per diem that allows them to have the materials they need for their art. In addition, the students receive guidance from academics and specialists in the field and a chance to participate in the general art and city decorating programmes of QM and exhibit their works created during their residency on an international platform and also in Qatar.

He added that the programme annually receives nearly 120 applications from artists on an average, which has increased to 200 for the upcoming year, which is a proof of its success. He highlighted that the selection process is based on quality of the submitted portfolios. According to Obaidly, an applicant for the Artist in Residence programme must have a clear artistic practice and submit a portfolio including his biography, previous works as well as the project they wish to work on during the residency. Subsequently, a jury panel consisting of five specialised academics and critics of different artistic backgrounds decide on the final group.

He added that the Paris Artist Residency is an extension of the residency programme in Qatar and gives a chance to the chosen artists to explore the city of art and take a look at the various exhibitions and museums, meet with artists, craftsmen and art implementers and to explore the possibilities found in Europe in general. He mentioned receiving excellent reactions to the artworks created by young talented artists as part of the programme, referring to Ebtisam al Saffar who matured as an artist during the residency programme and decided to pursue a career in art after the end of her residency.