26 July 2020

VCUarts Qatar and British Council Offer Creative Industries Online Workshops

Series to help art and design practitioners discuss global trends, industry diversification, and help enhance personal statements and proposals.

Art and design practitioners and specialists seeking to advance their careers can now do so through the Creative Industries online workshops, a collaboration between VCUarts Qatar’s Community & Continuing Education Program and its Alumni Relations Office, and the British Council in Qatar.

The workshops will offer practitioners expert insight into current global trends and industry diversification, while providing tips to sharpen individual personal statements and applications.

The program consists of two courses that are spread over three days each, with a two-hour masterclass scheduled for each day.

The first course, titled ‘Cultural Career Paths’, will take place on August 9, 11 and 12. It will offer participants guidance on how to write their personal statements to apply for grants (during normal times and during crises), and help them develop an understanding of the dynamics in the global art market.

The second course, ‘Turning your Design Practice into a Career’, will be held on August 16, 18 and 19, and will provide expert insight into the ways that artists can define who they are, and learn how to address their art across various platforms and formats.

Fifteen of the 20 seats in the workshops are reserved for VCUarts Qatar alumni, while the remaining five seats are open to other creatives such as regional artists, creative practitioners, curators, and art managers who are keen to enhance their art and design skills.

The program will be led by Rose Lejeune, a London-based curator and researcher, in collaboration with VCUarts Qatar and the British Council. Lejeune, who has worked as a Curator at Art on the Underground, a public art platform on London’s underground public transport system, and at the Serpentine Gallery in London, holds a BA in Philosophy and Art History, and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Curating at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where her research focuses on curatorial frameworks for performance art in, and out, of the art market.

In addition to Lejeune, each two-hour masterclass (on both the courses) will be led by renowned experts from the global art, design and culture scene. The line-up of instructors for the first course will include Oliver Basciano, a London-based journalist who will help participants hone their personal statements in light of their individual specializations. Dani Burrows, a freelance arts manager in Madrid who has worked with various organizations such as the Delfina Foundation, Active Cultures and May Calil Consultancy, will offer tips on applying for international residencies in art and design; while Mary Cork, an art market specialist in London, will explain the nuances of the global art market, and how awareness of such trends are key to networking and establishing one’s own art business.

The master-classes in the second course will be offered by more specialists: Anoushka Khandwala, a London-based freelance graphic designer, and faculty at Central St. Martins and Camberwell College of Arts, will discuss the need to diversify the design industry; Manar Moursi, an architect, designer, and founder of the Cairo-based interdisciplinary studio Studio Meem, will highlight the use of design in developing story-telling narratives, especially in museum settings; and Annette Welkamp, the founding director of Culture Counsel, an organization that provides services, and support and advice for museums, businesses, governments, art galleries, private clients, artists and academia internationally, including in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe, will teach the third module.

Aisha AlKooheji, Program Manager for Community & Continuing Education at VCUarts Qatar, noted how such collaborations further VCUarts Qatar’s efforts to promote artists in the region through programs that offer relevant, up to date information, and mentoring by experts, in art and design.

“At VCUarts Qatar, we recognize that continuing education is crucial for graduates and experts to stay abreast of evolving market trends, especially in the fields of art and design,” AlKooheji said. “This was the key impetus behind our partnership with the British Council to launch the Creative Industries online workshops.

“Given the circumstances in which artists and designers have had to adapt to the pandemic-induced scenario, we have carefully curated these masterclasses to give participants a realistic view of developing tendencies in art and design. Furthermore, instructors will provide specific guidance on how to adapt individual applications and proposals, in the face of such shifting trends.”

Lejeune, explaining the course, added: “There will be opportunities throughout the course to practice specific skills around both creating your own, and making the most of existing trends and openings, as well as to hear the experiences and engage in conversation with the speakers who are specialists in their own fields.

“The six sessions will provide participants with an exciting platform to understand the variety of career paths for designers and arts graduates from the perspective of professionals who are renowned for their respective repertoire of work, both in the UK and internationally."

The program is free of charge for VCUarts Qatar alumni, while other applicants can apply for a fee of QAR1500 each.

The program consists of two courses that are spread over three days each, with a two-hour masterclass scheduled for each day. Photograph by Leila Natsheh.

The workshops will offer practitioners expert insight into current global trends and industry diversification, while providing tips to sharpen individual personal statements and applications. Photograph by Leila Natsheh.

The first course, titled ‘Cultural Career Paths’, will take place on August 9, 11 and 12.

The second course, ‘Turning your Design Practice into a Career’, will be held on August 16, 18 and 19

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