Fanoon: Center For Printmedia Research

In addition to an active and ambitious program of visiting artists, lecturers and artists in residence, the department of Painting and Printmaking also operates a printmaking publishing program. The program collaborates with local, regional and international artists in the publishing of editions of prints, artists books and the realization of research projects within printmaking.

Fanoon is the first printmaking publishing program in the Middle-East. The Center publishes limited edition works within the medium of print with an emphasis on research. As printmaking enters a watershed moment in the medium’s history, which spans the Gutenberg press through to the world-wide-web, it is fitting that a new center is opened to explore print’s capabilities and relevance.

Fanoon will not simply focus on traditional print mediums, although these are of course as relevant today as they ever have been, but will also see artists realize projects in new technologies such as stereo lithography, 3 dimensional scanning, UV printing and digital engraving. Our selection of artists also aims to expand the notion of what printmaking can be in the 21st century w by curating and patronizing artists who engage with print from a variety of perspectives and experiences including, painting, sculpture, video, photography and performance.

Fanoon brings between six to eight visiting artists a year to VCUarts Qatar, local, regional and international practitioners. Each artist may spend between a week to a month in the Center, to work on a particular project. Fanoon shares its facilities with the Department of Painting and Printmaking, enabling the Center to combine research with hands-on learning. Students taking a printmaking class will find themselves working alongside international, established artists one week, and emerging artists, who may be of similar age to them, the next. Students will also be actively involved in the process of publishing the artists’ work during their visit, as described by Fanoon’s master printmaker, Zach Stensen-

‘The mentorship role between the undergraduate students and visiting artists is what makes Fanoon unique.  When assisting with the projects students are exposed to a range of techniques and image-making strategies, and they observe the diverse ways in which the artists approach their studio work.  The student assistants also see how the guest artists solve problems and adapt their plans to deal with unforeseen challenges.  In short­­­, working hands-on with the visiting artists provides our students with a unique learning experience that cannot be replicated in the classroom.’

Over the last year, Fanoon has had the pleasure to work with artists from India, Japan, the US and UK. We intend to continue work with international artists over the coming year, but with a greater focus on the region. Artists have engaged in monoprint, digital collage, installation, screen-print, laser engraving, and papermaking to name but a few mediums. Over the next 12 months Fanoon will see further expansion into new mediums and will see the first publications of limited edition artists’ books and portfolios.  Discussions are underway on expanding the program and embarking on a project to document the legacy of Qatari artists through print as well as a possible exhibition and symposia intended to help situate Fanoon as the leading voice in the region on contemporary printmedia discourse.