The Fire Station’s Youth Summer Residency has become a platform for budding artists in Qatar to develop their artistic skills, Fire Station director Khalifa al-Obaidli has told Gulf Times.
Like the ‘Artist in Residence’ concept, he said this two-month mentorship also aims to encourage young artists, especially students, to explore art and hone their skills.
At least 10 male and female students from various schools in Doha have been selected this year to take part in the two-month programme, which began on July 1 and runs until August 30.
“It has a very rich content. What we do is ask local or resident artist to join us in this programme to mentor and teach a student his technique,” al-Obaidli said.
“Within eight weeks, the student will come out with almost eight techniques taught by different artists, and at this stage they are like absorbing all these skills easily,” he noted.
The Fire Station has called on artists from Qatar to mentor the students to support this year’s Youth Summer Residency.
The students, which have been chosen based on their participation at the annual Ministry of Education art exhibition hosted at the Fire Station, have been receiving guidance and advice from the artists daily.
The programme also gives participants an opportunity to discuss various subjects with established artists in the community, visit museums and galleries “to reflect upon and take inspiration from other artists’ work.”
At the end of the mentorship, al-Obaidli said students will have the chance to showcase their works in an exhibition at the Fire Station, which runs until the end of the year.
“We thought this is a good programme for students to see what is available in art, what they can see and practise, and from there they will have many choices to select and develop their talents,” the Fire Station chief added.
According to Qatar Museums, the mentorship is based on the Fire Station’s Artist in Residency concept, which proved successful for the growing number of emerging artists, Qataris and residents who took part in the programme.
“Our main goal is to develop the artist’s skills and to engage the community. For that, we are creating a lot of educational programmes coming in parallel with our shows,” al-Obaidli noted.
Citing an example, he said QM-organised exhibitions such as the ‘Picasso-Giacometti’ and ‘Laundromat’ exhibition (by international artist and activist Ai Weiwei) last year attracted hundreds of students and teachers, who had the chance to participate in a series of workshops and educational programmes.