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05 August, 2010

VCUQatar Student Affairs Hosts Summer Art and Design Programs

The Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar hosted its Summer Art and Design Discovery programs in Qatar Foundations Education City.

The courses were segmented into two parts: Summer Art Exploration geared for students between the ages of 9-12 and Summer Design Discovery for students between the ages of 15-17. Both of the courses were filled to capacity with 20 students each. Art Exploration introduced the basics of art and design using different materials and techniques. The class culminated in an exhibition of student work for families to view and enjoy.The Summer Design Discovery was intended to allow design and art career-oriented students a chance to create a portfolio of work and explore the areas of fashion, graphic, interior design and painting & printmaking. There were 11 Qatari participants and others from UK, Tunisia, India, Kenya, Egypt, Jordan and Ireland. Lesley Gray, Student Affairs Assistant, noted that “most of the attendees plan to apply to VCUQatar but a couple of students took the courses for their own enjoyment and learning.” She also explained that the department plans to “extend the program next year and offer a much more intensive experience modeled after the summer intensive programs at VCU in Richmond, Virginia.”

Visiting faculty Melanie Buffington and Jan Johnston from VCU in Richmond, Virginia, taught the course. The organizers shared that they also plan to lengthen the future Art Exploration program for youngsters to two weeks and include more age groups. The programs were a great success and employed one VCUQatar alumna as a Teaching Assistant and two VCUQatar students as Program Assistants. As part of the course the students went to the Museum of Islamic Art. According to Assistant Professor Melanie Buffington, “There was quite a bit of strong work with many students showing great deal of promise in their ability. The students created art using various art media including water colors, colored pencils, printmaking, collage, bookmaking, drawing, etc. Many of the students progressed quite a bit, both conceptually and with their technical skills, during the week.”

Melanie Buffington with the students

Jan Johnston with the students

Summer Art Exploration students with VCU professors and teaching assistants