Posted on May 02, 2016

Graduates of Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar’s (VCUQatar) Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts Degree (MFA) programs in the fields of graphic, interior, fashion design, and painting and printmaking proudly showcased their final works to a large and appreciative audience at the opening reception of the BFA + MFA Exhibition on May 1 at VCUQatar. The VCUQatar BFA + MFA Exhibition is being showcased at the Gallery and Room 390 at the university. Entry to the exhibition is free and open to the public. It will remain open until May 21 for the BFA exhibition at Room 390, and May 28 for the MFA exhibition at the Gallery.

The exhibition provides an opportunity for the public to be inspired by works that have been influenced by diverse local, regional and international elements. The exhibition is the culmination of four years of diligent studying, researching, debating, and designing. These efforts are encapsulated in displays that are engaging, intriguing and stimulating. “The works of the students highlight their individual interests and reflect their personalities,” explained Leland Hill, assistant professor of Graphic Design at VCUQatar. The vision of their work, by what and why they were inspired must be documented in their thesis.

A diverse range of subjects are addressed in the Graphic Design department’s display, which ranges from typography to Qatar’s visual identify, to gender stereotypes, to how a scent can be visualized, and to how the changes of light can affect a design. Shattering gender stereotypes is graphic design graduate Noora Al Fadala’s leitmotif of her “Fit the Mold” exhibition. Al Fadala would like to create awareness of gender stereotypes in her country that prevent a woman from joining the army or a man from studying fashion design, for example. “A career has nothing to do with religion, and is not something that should be judged,” she clarifies.

Cherif Amor, chair of Interior Design at VCUQatar emphasized the importance of nurturing a culturally diverse learning experience. Amor explained: “Diversity is highly important, along with innovation, collaboration and sustainability to address the needs of the ‘glocal’ contexts,” he said, using the adjective that refers to global and local settings. Amor’s students have addressed these needs, which focus on everything from migrant housing solutions, to sustainable and ethical interior designs all the way to pods that simulate the effects of living in colonies on Mars.

Hissa Bujaloof, an interior design graduate, was inspired by the Arabic coffee cup, ‘fenyan’, to create holistic Qatari designs that mirror the round and smooth shape of the cup and represent the warmth of coffee. She said: “The rounded shapes also reflect the art of calligraphy, with which I want to convey movement and rhythm.” Through their diverse works of art representing religious, societal and personal issues, students of the Painting and Printmaking program are trying to change the world and not just understand it. Rhys Himsworth, chair of Painting and Printmaking at VCUQatar believes that: “The graduates will play a significant role in shaping the cultural landscape of Qatar and beyond.”

VCUQatar’s BFA + MFA Exhibition is an occasion to discover the outstanding works of a new generation of art and design talent in Qatar who are incorporating a diverse amount of issues in creative ways.