Painting + Printmaking Assistant Professor Rola Khayyat will be Fire Station’s next Curator in Residence.
Rola has been teaching at VCUarts Qatar for the last three years and is a Lebanese interdisciplinary artist, educator, and curator. She has curated shows in Beirut, Thessaloniki, Havana, and New York, such as the ‘BEYroute’ for the third Thessaloniki Biennale, ‘Lattice Work’ at the Black and White gallery, ‘Simmer’ at Kunstraum LLC. and ‘Light in Wartime’ at apexart.
Rola says she is looking forward to the Curatorial Residency program, which was launched by Fire Station in 2020. The program occurs twice a year for three months in conjunction with the Artist in Residence program.
Explaining the role, and her plans as Curator in Residence, she said, “Fire Station’s three-month Curatorial Residency program provides a curator with a workspace at Fire Station and includes interactive sessions with local artists and curators in Qatar, participation in Open Studio events, public programs and opportunities to organize exhibitions during their residency.”
She added, “Qatar’s position as a regional hub for arts, design and culture makes it the perfect place for me to assume a role such as this. As a first project, I will be curating a show in Qatar centered around personal archives from the region. Looking forward I see this as a platform that will help me expand my networks, learn more about the local art scene, and contribute to the creative community in Qatar.”
Rola holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University School of the Arts. She has also studied at the Florence Academy of Art and the American University of Beirut. She is the recipient of a Magnum Foundation Fellowship in 2020 and the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in 2021. She is specifically interested in lens-based image-making and photography.
At VCUarts Qatar, Rola has been developing a project centered around the question of home and belonging in post-conflict landscapes.
She said, “It's an exploration into the ordinary and affective dimensions of inhabiting a place of ongoing turmoil in its mundane and extraordinary guises, and the possible artistic methods and tools that can be employed to bring forth the silent stories that linger long after the dust has settled. My research explores the role of art as a powerful tool for recreating and fostering dialogue internally and universally, as well as methods and strategies for reformulating ideas of belonging and identity in post-war nations.”
Artwork from the series '13 am' by Rola Khayyat.