Showing through April 19, 2019.

Tasmeem Doha 2019, the biennial international art and design conference hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) included three days of workshops, talks and exhibitions by renowned artists and designers from the region and around the world.

This Cabell Screen exhibit shares a few scenes and images of this impressive international arts event. 

The university’s Qatar campus was transformed into a mini design district with installations and artsy kiosks around the central foyer. The entrance was characterized by a striking display of colorful ribbons with colors transitioning from orange to purple through which attendees passed as they entered the event space.

The theme of the conference was “Hekayat” (stories) and it was co-chaired by four VCUarts Qatar alumni: Hadeer Omar, Noha Fouad, Wajiha Pervez, and Yasmeen Suleiman.  Donald Baker, Ph.D., VCUarts Qatar’s Executive Dean, said, “Tasmeem Doha strikes me as a unique and very effective way to bring students and faculty members together around common interests and concerns, providing a shared body of ideas, observations, and experiences to fuel ongoing dialogue.”

Tasmeem Doha featured speakers such as Ahmed Alrefaie, an illustrator and graphic designer from Kuwait; and Rana Beiruti, director and co-founder of Amman Design Week. The opening keynoter was Sir David Adjaye, OBE, the Founder and Principal of Adjaye Associates. An architect with an artist’s sensibility, his largest project to date is the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

Some highlights included: 

  • Tehran-based artist Ali Phi’s exhibition “QAL, the anti-carpet”, the key elements of which were Persian carpets and Persian gardens, and his audio-visual performance of “Elemaun” combined stunning visuals inspired by Persian motifs with rhythmic electronic beats sampling the ritual and regional music of Iran.
  • Workshops during  included sessions on Palestinian Embroidery and architectural imagery and typography, a workshop incorporating cooking and woodworking, as well as sessions on sculpting, virtual reality, calligraphy, coding and T-Shirt design by the likes of Gary Webb, Samer Fouad, Armor Gutiérrez Rivas and 2015/16 VCUarts Qatar Artist-in-Residence Nastassja Swift, and by students from VCUarts Qatar and the university’s home campus.
  • Graphic design students performed live loops of their works during “Sonic Jeel” (sonic generation) to great acclaim. “Sonic Jeel” was a design course and pseudo record label exploring systems of sound using small portable synthesizers and sampling.
  • One exhibition, 162°C Trading Power” exhibition, used 40 floating printers that source relevant text and images from the internet, and is a collaboration among faculty and students from VCUarts Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, and Tokyo Metropolitan University’s Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology.
  • Viewers of Hollywood blockbuster movie “The Black Panther” would have been familiar with the designs of Julia Koerner, who was the keynote speaker on the final day of Tasmeem Doha. During her speech to a full house at the university’s Atrium, she shared details and experiences of how she designed some of her incredible wearable designs  through 3D-printing, and also regaled the audience with memories of her collaborations for haute couture and costumes for the movie.

About VCU’s School of the Arts in Qatar

Established in 1998 through a partnership with Qatar Foundation, VCUarts Qatar is the international branch campus of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts, a top-ranked art and design program in the United States.  VCUarts Qatar is celebrating a 20-year alliance between VCU and the Qatar Foundation that underscores the commitment of each institution to excellence, inquiry, discovery and innovation in a global setting.

VCUarts Qatar offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting and printmaking, a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design.  A vibrant community with global reach, VCUarts promises to instill in students a lifelong passion for education and the arts. 

VCUarts Qatar offers valuable opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and connects VCUarts to the influential art and design world of the Middle East and beyond. The campus attracts renowned contributors to contemporary visual culture for speaking and teaching engagements, and hosts two major international events:  Tasmeem, a biennial art and design conference; and the Hamad bin Khalifa Islamic Art Symposium. 

This blog posting is an edited version of a news release prepared by VCUarts Qatar about the event. 

Categories Community, News, Qatar