VCUarts Qatar’s Much-Awaited BFA + MFA Exhibition 2024 Opens

May 6, 2024
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Someone walking past the final thesis project of one of the M F A students which includes a wall made from breeze blocks with paintings of records on it , and music and lights emanating from either side of it

The show is a collective presentation of the unique and often convention-breaking works of VCUarts Qatar’s senior students from the undergraduate programs of graphic design, interior design, painting and printmaking, and fashion design, as well as the University’s postgraduate program in design

Public welcome to visit the exhibition that runs until May 12

VCUarts Qatar has announced that its much-awaited BFA + MFA Exhibition 2024 is open to the public. Visitors can view the exhibition between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Saturday to Thursday, from May 6-12 (The University is closed on Friday). Registration is not required.

The exhibition is situated on the ground floor of VCUarts Qatar’s campus within Education City. Those unable to visit the campus can view the exhibition at https://qatar.vcu.edu/bfamfa-thesis-2024/

The exhibition formally launched on May 5, 2024. The opening night was attended by key stakeholders from Qatar’s creative sector, and family and friends of the graduating students.

The show is a collective presentation of the unique and often convention-breaking works of VCUarts Qatar’s senior students from the undergraduate programs of graphic design, interior design, painting and printmaking, and fashion design, as well as the University’s postgraduate program in design.

Culture, language, identity, mental health, physical well-being, and the environment were just some of the themes researched by the Class of 2024.

Some students explored the notion of cultural identity shaped through memories, highlighting history and heritage, while others examined the implications of displacement and colonization.

The psychological effects of being a third-culture kid (TCK) continued to be a popular topic for investigation.

This year, several projects explored health-related issues. Projects tackling obesity, maternal health, autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and digital over-use underscored the role of design in promoting well-being and addressing health concerns, lifestyle-induced and otherwise.

Further projects drew inspiration from Qatar: the country’s unique marine biosphere and landscapes, ship-building heritage, and the history and significance of its banknotes and stamps.

Students used a variety of media, resources and tools that allowed them to incorporate techniques such as light, sound, video, animation, textile design, silk printing, fabrication technology, visual language, product, print and website design, typography, coding, interior graphics, printmaking, digital painting, screen-printing, lithography, computer programming, and photographic stencil techniques, in their final projects.

Reflecting on the diversity of themes and subjects explored by the students, Amir Berbić, Dean of VCUarts Qatar, said, “This class began their studies with VCUarts Qatar through the early days of the pandemic and their artwork tells their story, inviting each of us along on their journey. The themes of displacement, colonization and duality are found in some pieces, while others encourage exploration of the expat experience, and the questions surrounding the balance between utility, creativity, and personal artistic expression.

“Our students have explored traditions and influences of life in Qatar. Many of them chose to celebrate cultural identity shaped through memories, amidst explorations of audio, linguistic, visual, local and historical heritage.”

The day of the launch also saw prospective students visit the campus for ‘Hayakom’, the traditional welcome accorded to students offered places at VCUarts Qatar, for the 2024 Fall semester. Hosting ‘Hayakom’ on the same day as the exhibition gave these students a taste of the excitement, the buzz and the celebratory feel surrounding the culmination of students’ BFA and MFA studies. During their time on campus, these students – most of who were wrapping up high school – also met with Dean Berbić, department directors and Chairs, admissions counselors and alumni from various programs.

The Class of 2024 follows in the footsteps of alumni making their mark in the four corners of the globe. Some of them have been recognized through international awards – such as the Telly Awards, the Venice TV Award, the International Property Awards, and the Red Dot Award – while others have had their work displayed at prestigious exhibitions and events in places such as Doha, Dubai, Milan, Venice, London, Berlin, Moscow, Paris, and Hong Kong.

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