The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) at the Department of Painting + Printmaking (PAPR) at VCUarts Qatar prepares the new generation of creatives to become accomplished and confident artists with independent, professional practices in the arts. We provide students with a wealth of adaptable skills in contemporary art practices to take with them into the career of their choice.
The program reflects the dynamic attitude towards contemporary art, with an emphasis on experimentation and intellectual inquiry. You will produce a diverse body of work that will enable you to carve your artistic identity.
The program brings together a diverse community of artists, researchers, educators, curators, activists, and creative professionals to foster collaboration and interdisciplinary learning. Our students experiment with a wide range of traditional and contemporary media, including drawing, painting, 3D art, new media, sculpture, installation, photography, film, sound, performance, animation, and printmaking, gaining the skills and knowledge to become versatile artists with a broad range of expertise.
The future of art, here in Qatar
Doha is home to some of the world’s leading cultural institutions, including the Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Qatar, Lusail Museum, Fire Station Museum, and many more. Currently, Qatar Museums is set to open several new museums including the Art Mill Museum, which is poised to become one of the leading modern and contemporary art institutions in the world.
This growth presents opportunities for emerging artists to develop a successful career within local and international art communities.
What will you learn?
This is a multidisciplinary fine art program that encourages working across disciplines. Students can also engage in elective courses from other programs allowing them to get a minor in Art History, and a minor in Film and Design. They can also attend special topics electives (masterclasses) with leaders from the cultural industries in the region and globally. Students have the opportunity to develop individual research interests and build personalized learning objectives.
All new students who choose a BFA pathway first need to complete a one-year Art Foundation program. In addition, all of our graduates complete a Liberal Arts and Sciences core curriculum. High-achieving students will also be invited to follow our Honors program to supplement and enhance their education.
The culmination of a student’s BFA journey is VCUarts Qatar’s annual BFA + MFA Exhibition where projects created by the graduating class are showcased and celebrated with the wider community.
For further information on the program’s structure, please visit the links below:
An in-depth understanding of the complex workings of the art market, the role of key players in it, and the entities that influence it, with a focus on the market in the Arab region.
Art and New Technologies
Learn to use various fabrication tools and techniques in VCUarts Qatar’s FabLab, such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC milling, to enhance their artistic application.
The Art of Children’s Book Illustration
Understand a story’s main idea or mood and use it to develop, illustrate, and create artwork for children’s books, which each student will make as a semester project.
Learn to use technology-based tools and resources, such as NeoLucida, in class projects that involve video installations and large-scale photography.
A comprehensive grasp of the exhibition design process, from ideation to final installation. This module is a joint initiative with the Exhibition Design department of Qatar Museums.
A thorough and practical understanding of curating techniques, with an emphasis on the culture of the Arab world, and expanding on curatorship theory and practice.
Additionally, you will:
Be introduced to contemporary art practices.
Be encouraged to try new approaches and forms within your chosen projects.
Explore disciplines outside the department with interdisciplinary electives beyond fine art, broadening your practical skillset.
Work collaboratively across the wider VCUarts Qatar and Education City communities.
Our graduates are currently employed in sectors and enterprises such as:
Professional Art practice
Filmmaking, including animation, pre-production, post-production, and video and sound editing
Creative media management
Pre and post-production work
Printmaking and reprographics
Public and Community art
Our students have been hired by:
Qatar Museums, Qatar Airways, AlBahie Auction House, Katara Hospitality, Qatar Foundation, Qatar National Bank, ARAK Collection, Teach for Qatar, and many more.
Our faculty members are accomplished artists and industry professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge, industry connections, and expertise to the classroom. They will guide you through your coursework, help you develop your unique artistic voice, and provide mentorship and career advice to help you achieve your goals.
The Department of Printing + Printmaking has a Board of Advisors drawn from some of the world’s best institutions and universities. They are:
Bashir Makhoul, Vice-Chancellor, University for the Creative Arts, London, UK Mr. Ashraf A.R. Abu Issa, Chairman, ABUISSA Holding, Doha, Qatar Professor Walid Sadek, Chair, Department of Fine Arts and Art History, American University of Beirut, Lebanon Michael Rakowitz, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA Hassan Elahi, Director, George Mason University School of Art and Design Nada Shabout, Professor, Art History and the Coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA Wael Shwakey, Artist, Alexandria, Egypt Beral Madra, Independent curator and art critic, Istanbul, Turkey Noah Simblist, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA Tarek Al Ariss, Dartmouth College, USA Shaurya Kumar, Chair, Department of Printmedia, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA Bassam El Baroni, Assistant Professor, Curating and Mediating Art at the School of Arts, Design, and Architecture, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
Internships and Professional Development
Our internship program is a collaborative, career development program in partnership with Qatar’s world-class public cultural institutions, including the Fire Station Museum, the National Museum of Qatar, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Islamic Art, M7, Qatar Foundation, and AlBahie Auction House. During their junior and senior years, our students can work with and learn from them.
FANOON / EMERGE | Alumni Artists-in-Residence Program
As a junior teaching artist and curator in residence at the Painting + Printmaking Department, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the vibrant artistic community within our institution. This residency program provides emerging PAPR alumni, artists, curators, and writers the necessary support, mentorship, and resources to develop their creative practice, as well as to contribute to the Department by teaching in the areas of studio practice.
Public Programs, Residencies, Lectures, Field trips, and Visiting Artists
Participation in residencies, field trips, public programs, and visits by renowned international artists are part of the BFA PAPR experience. Here are a few:
Field trips and collaborations
Global Art Forum Dubai-2012
Global Art Forum Dubai-2011
Sharjah Art Biennial
Cai Guo Qiang
Abdul Rahman Katanani
National Day Exhibition
AlBahie Auction House
Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art
Collaborations with AlBahie Auction House and Bissan Gallery
The Department collaborates with AlBahie Auction House and Bissan Gallery to help students develop a professional portfolio for the art market. Their work is featured as part of contemporary auctions in Doha. In addition, AlBahie Auction House will support students in exhibition production, including framing, catalog, and promotion materials.
JEDEED: Contemporary Art in Doha Auction
JEDEED is a new auction category focusing on contemporary art from the region and launched by AlBahie Auction House in collaboration with the PAPR department in 2021 to address the region’s need for an art market ecosystem. It aims to introduce contemporary art by young and emerging artists to the market, allowing both seasoned and new collectors to collect contemporary art from the region, and giving emerging artists a chance to be launched into the secondary art market. Every year, the work of selected PAPR graduates is featured in the auction along with emerging artists from the region. Their work is featured as part of contemporary auctions in Doha. In addition, AlBahie Auction House will support the students in exhibition production, including framing, catalog, and promotion materials.
BFA Painting & Printmaking in 30 seconds
Meet our Alumni
87% of our alumni have been offered jobs within the first three months of their graduation. They are practicing industry professionals, well-known and respected in public and private sectors. Read some of the inspiring stories of our alumni and students here:
VCUarts Qatar Students and Alumna Capture GWC’s Corporate Spirit in a Series of 29 Paintings
The words ‘finance’ and ‘banking’ are what pop to mind when you hear the name ‘Deutsche Bank’ – not ‘art’. Yet the fact that the German financial institution – with over 50,000 works of art across its offices in 90 countries – is one of the largest corporate owners of artwork in the world is a clear indication…
VCUarts Qatar Alumnus Helps Make Art Auctions More Accessible to the Public
This year, Doha-based Al Bahie Auction House’s efforts to organize the Modern and Contemporary Art Auction 2020 is being spearheaded by a VCUarts Qatar Class of 2016 alumnus, Habib M. Abu-Futtaim. The auction will take place on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 in Building 22, at Katara – The Cultural…