Students celebrate success as art works feature in latest exhibition at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

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310 students across Doha are celebrating their success today after being announced as winners of a popular student art competition organised by Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art at Qatar Foundation.


The museum has opened an exciting new exhibition, called ‘Looking In…’, to showcase the winning works from the competition which is now in its third year. The competition and exhibition has been designed to give students in Qatar the opportunity to express and develop their artistic talent, and to help teachers and parents to explore modern and contemporary art together with young people.


Students and families attended the official opening of the exhibition on Saturday May 2, from 3 – 6pm. Mathaf Education planned a full programme of activities during the afternoon to celebrate and recognise young artistic talent. The event was held in the Performance Space ((مسرح المتحف where guests gathered to enjoy a number of musical acts including the Qatar Music Academy, Takhtensemble and Doha College’s own rock band, Door Handle.


Other activities organised by the museum included hands-on workshops in the art making area that focused on mirror self-portraits led by staff from Mathaf, acrostic name poems led by the artists Haya Al Kuwari and Jackie Edelman, and a pin the features on a face game, led by UCL Qatar Students.


All the winning schools, teachers and students that featured in the exhibition received gifts and certificates. Those students whose works were not chosen for the exhibition were given certificates thanking them for their participation and inviting them to submit again next year. 


On the day, visitors to Mathaf also selected several artworks as winners of the People’s Choice Awards. Each received prizes and special certificates. Those winners selected on the day were:

·      Abdul Aziz Elmadi from Abdul Rahman bin Jassim Independent Preparatory School for Boys

·      Ancha Baltazar Gune from Mesaieed International School

·      Carlotta Bernardi from the International School of London in Qatar

·      Fares El Ahdab,

·      Pauline Guillard

·      Karim Al Moukhtar from Lycée Bonaparte

·      Preparatory Class of  75 students from Lycée Bonaparte


During the event, guests were encouraged to visit the Student Art exhibition which runs across the museum’s ground floor in the Manara Education Space, the library, Maktaba and areas in-between. The interpretative and interactive corner also invites visitors to be creative and post their reactions to the exhibition on social media using a series of hashtags including @mathafmodern, @UCLQurate, @Qatar_Museums, #StudentArtEx, #HBKU, #UCLQurate, #UCLQ, #Mathafmodern.


The exhibition also includes a self-guided Activity Corner where visitors can create a number of portraits in the Education Studio based on instruction cards provided to them. This will provide an open studio where visitors can drop in at any time to express themselves artistically and capture their reactions to the exhibition.


The theme of the third edition of the competition explored the question, ‘what is a portrait?’ and invited schools to submit artworks created by students of all ages. Following careful selection by a judging panel including UCL Qatar MA Students and Mathaf staff, 145 art works were selected for presentation to the public. The panel evaluated the artworks based on a range of criteria that included concept originality, the inventive use of material and media, and creative expression and understanding of the theme.


HE Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani, patron of Mathaf said:


“It is a great pleasure to see the fantastic pieces of art that have been submitted by students across Qatar exhibited at Mathaf. Mathaf is keen to ensure that students are given the opportunity to express themselves through art and develop a passion for creative expression. Our goal is to support these aspiring artists living in Qatar and provide a platform for creative exchange.”


This year's exhibition has been created and organised in partnership with students from the Museum and Gallery Practice Master’s Program at UCL Qatar, and attracted a record number of more than 400 student applications from across 55 schools. In just three years since the competition was first launched, students from 131 schools have submitted a total of 551 artworks.


Maral Bedoyan, Head of Education at Mathaf, added:


“The variety of artworks on display at Mathaf as part of our latest student exhibition is truly impressive. Each and every student used their creativity, passion, talent and imagination to create something spectacular. This is just one of the many initiatives on offer at Mathaf, as part of our goal to foster and enrich young artistic talent through the variety of educational programmes on offer at the museum.  We look forward to seeing even more students take part in next year’s competition.”


As Doha's first museum for modern and contemporary art, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art plays a special role in the cultural life of Qatar. Presented by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Mathaf Student Art Competition and Exhibition reinforces Qatar Museum’s focus on art, creativity and heritage and its commitment of establishing creative hubs where young artists can experiment, explore and share projects with one another. The competition also supports Qatar Museum’s objective of nurturing emerging talent and enriching the lives of residents and visitors.


For more information about the exhibition, please visit: