From September 20 to October 21, 2017
September 20, 2017 at 6pm
The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar
Image caption: Bouthayna Al-Muftah, ‘The Golden Past (detail)’, Mixed media, 2017 ©Bouthayna Al-Muftah
As the 2017/2018 academic year marks VCUarts Qatar’s 20th anniversary, we are honored to celebrate the diversity of our alumni and their success in the art and design field.
This exhibition unveils the fruitful achievements of 20 stunning VCUarts Qatar alumni in a spectrum of multidisciplinary creations under one umbrella. An umbrella that combines endless design skills that better prepares today’s artists and designers for the future.
Biographies – Curators
Ahmad Oustwani is the Alumni Relations Coordinator at VCUarts Qatar. Ahmad holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design with an Art History minor from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar and is currently completing a Master of Science (M.S.) in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University.
Maryam Yousuf Al-Homaid is an interdisciplinary designer holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design and a Master in Design Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Graphic Design department.
Biographies – Artists and Designers
Abdul Rahman Anwar is a multidisciplinary designer and a materials specialist. Working as the Materials Library assistant at VCUarts Qatar, the central thread of his practice is centered around the investigation of an interactive-design approach, through an amalgam of creative directions, methods, processes that interweave the analog with the digital to inform new possibilities.
His research emerges from material experimentation through various concepts, such as collaboration and inquiries to better understand the potential of materiality, as a catalyst for creativity and innovation in the context of design. Framed within the spectrum of material mechanics, he examines their properties, explores possibilities and pushes the boundaries of existing materials through experimentation, fabrication and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Abdulla Al-Kuwari has been involved in different art events. Imagination is a key element in his work, which is mainly inspired by nature, memories and pop culture.
Ahood Al Dafa is a self-taught artist who is working at Qatar Museums as a graphic designer, and is also the business owner of “subogh w brosh.”
Aisha Al-Sowaidi is a multidisciplinary designer. Her designs are an expression of a local designer towards the fast developing Qatar. Her work incorporates old experiences and behaviors with contemporary design in objects used within the house to maintain the feeling of being home. Her work also brings the modern city closer to the home through the use of materials inspired by the city. Her designs deal with memory, nostalgia, and traces of time.
Assil Diab is a visual artist, graphic designer and graffiti artist. Known as ‘Sudalove’, she is the first female graffiti artist to come out of Qatar and Sudan. Her work consists of mixed media and painting canvases using nothing but spray paint, “Atwuk”. She has exhibited her artwork at local hotels in Qatar including the Grand Regal Hotel and the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Gallery 5 in Richmond, Virginia and Malja – an art space by Red Bull in Bahrain where she exhibited in 2015 & 2016.
The theme of Bouthayna Al-Muftah’s work is centered on tradition and culture, which she has always felt very passionate about.
Qatar has a rich background and she has always felt very strongly tied to her roots. Among her inspirations are stories of Qatari heritage and the remnants of the folklore of the past. These elements of culture that are preserved are a huge influence and inspiration to her artistic approach. The aesthetic that the artist uses maintains a visible link to its raw form. It is from this raw quality of work that she has come to refer to as ‘gestural’.
Bouthayna Al-Muftah’s artwork is somewhat conceptual, depicting unique and distinctive qualities from Qatari culture in a somewhat abstract manner, always relating to some element or memory from her childhood, that she feels a strong emotional attachment to.
Dhika Khaira was one of the winners of the Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Design Competition which awarded her a full scholarship to VCUarts Qatar. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design degree with Honors and earned the Magna Cum Laude distinction in May 2015.
Dhika Khaira has been involved in several community services which include teaching underprivileged children in Nepal, teaching high school students at a Reach Out To Asia school in Yogyakarta, and building a teacher’s house in Thailand.
Faisal Mohammad has a BA in Graphic Design from the American University of Kuwait. He is an avid traveler. He was born in Switzerland and has lived in Malaysia, Oman and London, and is currently working in Kuwait. His personal work is an experimentation of modern expressionism and he finds a lot of inspiration from the pop art period movement.
BFA in Graphic Design ‘10
MFA in Studio Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago ‘16
Fatma Al-Remaihi is a sketch-booker and artist. Her work explores her interests in the concept of play, womanism, and the right to education. Over the past five years she has worked for a non-profit organization that focuses on aiding education in crisis, Reach Out To Asia, and is currently working as an adjunct faculty member at VCUarts Qatar’s Graphic Design department.
Hadeer Omar, a visual communicator, independent filmmaker and an educator. She is a Teacher Assistant at the Art Foundation Department at VCUarts Qatar. Hadeer Omar founded an online studio called “Kroki Design Studio” in 2012.
Her training experience gives her the ability to apply design thinking, in all its forms, to visual processes. Her graphics process knowledge, and experience includes filmmaking, social design, photography, digital art and mixed media. She represents her identity through her work. She enjoys manipulating mediums to emphasize the story behind each piece of her work.
Hana Al-Saadi studied Painting and Printmaking, while pursuing her interest in sculpture-making. She works hard to understand what it means to be a conceptual artist. Her work tends to be quirky, lighthearted and fun to look at; she likes to make mistakes happen and embrace them. She sees her pieces as individuals and not as objects, which is why her art pieces feel as if they have different personalities. She does not have to explain her work in any format, because her art pieces describe themselves to the viewers.
In January 2014, during her third year at VCUarts Qatar, Hana Al-Saadi’s efforts won her the Damien Hirst art competition in Qatar.
Leila Natsheh is a graphic designer and a photographer. She enjoys the exploration of the process and attempts to gain as much knowledge as possible. Her main objective, no matter what media she chooses, is to communicate experiences and tell stories that resonate within us all. For her, design is an outlet to explore human interactions. As the profession continues to evolve, she believes the role of the designer will shift from communicating static messages, to becoming the facilitator of shared experiences that spark curiosity and allow audiences to collectively contribute to an idea.
Leila Natsheh graduated as a Valedictorian with honors Summa Cum Laude.
Maryam Faraj Daham Al-Suwaidi is currently taking her masters degree in Urban Design and Planning at Qatar University.
She experiments with different types of art forms, from digital and manual drawing and painting to glass making. She believes that art should not be seen as fine pieces of hand work propped on display waiting to be admired, but that art is there to deliver a message to the world.
Most of her inspiration is derived from social behaviors and actions. Researching and studying society is the most critical step and makes up the structure of every item in her work. Theories of existing philosophers are an important aspect of her work in which it supports the idea and helps her to develop the visual approach. The objective of her work is to see how the viewer can comprehend the idea and create a connection between the artwork, the theory and themselves.
Mohammad Jawad is a multidisciplinary designer working with a multiplicity of analog and digital processes with a focus on understanding the crossover between science and design.
As a curious designer, he indulges in spontaneity and experimentation with unconventional materials and media; merging the traditional with the contemporary to create new dialogue that can inform sustainable interventions.
His design process primarily focuses on the metamorphosis of a simple idea and the use of an interdisciplinary approach to develop innovative solutions through human interactions. His interest lies in exploring subjects of sustainability, functionality and adaptation. The outcomes he creates are a representation of critical thinking that allows the users to interact, navigate, experience and transform with his designs.
Naila Al-Thani is a fashion designer whose work and experience ranges within the fields of fashion and art.
Al-Thani previously worked at Qatar Museums and Qatar Luxury Group (Qela), and gained further experience by completing a postgraduate certificate at Central Saint Martins and an internship at Valentino. She has also worked with artists and filmmakers as a researcher and costume designer on film, performance, and video installation.
Khunji is an interdisciplinary designer whose work ranges across the fields of product, and interactive installation design.
The social behaviors, from an Islamic perspective, triangulating how the relationships between religion, culture, and society can be expressed through the language of design are his particular areas of interest. Whether educational or critical, evocative or reminiscent, his interactive creations invite a reawakening and exploration of faith-based practices and social justice issues that will establish platforms for dialogue in the hope of generating new schools of thought.
BFA in Interior/Fashion Design ‘10
MA Interior Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design ‘15
Reem Al-Thani is a multidisciplinary designer who works on activation of space through a human approach to design.
Her thesis explores the ways socio-cultural methods of integration can influence architecture, using the water tower built form as a catalyst for connection in fragmented cities or communities. Through her studies at RISD, she became fascinated by generative design which came from the studies of crystal formations. This allowed the development of a simple algorithm that doesn’t depend on the end result or a preliminary shape and can be applied to any mapping or parameter to create different formations.
She is now the Head of Exhibition Design at Qatar Museums and is responsible for design and production of all temporary and permanent exhibitions for all affiliated museums and exhibition venues.
Sahar Mari is passionate about learning new things and incorporating different elements in her designs. Her recent art focuses on Islamic Pattern construction, design, as well as color explorations. Sahar enjoys creating juxtapositions of traditional patterns with contemporary and unusual color arrangements. These contrasts are accentuated by the use of traditional tools and mixed mediums.
Sumam Ismail Azzam’s works consist of figures and forms depicted mostly from his fantasy-inspired imagination. He enjoys creating new worlds in his art, and continues to do so through various painting mediums, sculptures, and installations.
Inspired by his father, Ismail Azzam, he continued to pursue his interest in painting and drawing at a young age. He focused on honing his illustration skills as he grew older and started understanding the important role of art in his life.
Wurood Ismail Azzam graduated with an Honors degree and as a Salutatorian from Graphic Design Department at VCUarts Qatar.
Her work combines digital and analog techniques. She combines her interest in fine arts with her passion for graphic design. Wurood likes to add a sense of humor to her work to make it fun and engaging, targeting a wide range of audience. Fine arts inspire her to create minimal designs to suit her visual aesthetics.
Leila Natsheh, 'Haligo', Wood, acrylic on wood, coconut finish pieces of 5x13x13 to1.5x20x2.5 cm, 2016, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Maryam Faraj Daham AI-Suwaidi, 'Genetics - DNA', Gypsum and gold, 2017, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Hana AI-Saadi, 'Hmmm ...', Resin, 2017, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Dhika Khaira in front of her installation 'Tangible, Intangible', Digital print on card paper, A5 postcards, A6 postcards and moleskin journal, 2017, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Fatma Al-Remaihi, 'Eruption (An Ode to Drawing)', Ballpoint pen on paper, 2017 ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Ahood Al Dafa, 'In the Moment of Crash ', Digital rendering, painting, photo bashing 6000 x 3336 pixels, 2016, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Faisal Mohammad, 'Mapping a Renewed Interest in Green Island', Graphics printed on acrylic, mounted on particleboard, 2017 ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Aisha Al-Sowaidi, 'All Ways Giving Bowl', Glass, 2017, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Othman M. R. Khunji, 'Religious Vanity II', 3D printed ABS plastic, marble, reflective stainless steel, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Bouthayna AI-Muftah 'Golden Past (detail)', Mixed media', 2017, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Assil Diab, 'Mythopoeic I & II', Oil and acrylic on canvas, 2017, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Hadeer Omar, 'July Visual Diaries', Illustrations on paper, 2017 ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Reem Al-Thani, 'Triangulation Polygon Table', Plywood, 2017, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Naila AI-Thani 'Ndebele 1, 2 & 3', Fabric, 2015, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Sahar Mari, 'Experiment 1206, 1207 & 1208', Colored pencils on paper and acrylic paint on paper, 2017, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Abdul Rahman Anwar & Mohammad Jawad, 'Sand, Send, Sent', Sand and water, 2017, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Wurood Ismail Azzam, 'Art& Co', Pen on paper, 2016, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar
Sumam Ismail Azzam, 'Easier to Fly', Acrylic on canvas, 2017, ©Raviv Cohen, VCUarts Qatar