The recently re-opened Souq Waqif Art Centre is poised to become a world-class art institution with thrust not only in enhancing the country’s art scene but gaining world attention with its rich line-up of programmes.
“I hope that Waqif Art Centre will be a centre for the world not just for Qatar,” Nadia Abdulrahman Al Mudahka, General Manager of Souq Waqif Art Centre, told The Peninsula at the launch of the centre’s second exhibition after it officially re-opened earlier this month.
The current expo opened by Qatari Olympian Nasser Al Attiyah on Wednesday features emerging Qatari artist Maryam Ghanem Al Attiyah’s 18 works.
Although the centre serves as a platform for Qatari artists, it will also be open for artists in the region and around the world, according to Al Mudahka, adding a big exhibition will be held for National Day.
More than galleries for exhibition, the centre also houses halls for education which is a key priority of the centre.
Ceramics, photography and graphics are among the short courses offered at the centre for free and open for everyone, noted Al Mudahka.
“We have already started offering courses for those aged 13 and above, and in two weeks’ time we are offering courses for those who have keen interest for art,” she said.
Duration of the courses vary like ceramics is conducted for three weeks and graphics for two weeks while photography lasts for a month.
“Photography is longer because we offer workshops for participants which include capturing interesting aspects of Souq Waqif such as the buildings and horses and Qatari culture in general,” she said.
The education aspect of the centre is even reinforced with the presence of an art library which contains books concerning local and international art.
“We hope this library will be a significant resource for everyone here in the future since we are still in the process of augmenting more books both in Arabic and English languages on wide array of subjects on art,” she added.
When it comes to design, it is undeniable no other art house in the country can rival Souq Waqif Art Centre.
Hues of turquoise and brown dominate the interiors of the carefully tiled walls of the centre which are also reflected in the custom-made furnishings.
The colours blend effectively with Arabic hanging, wall and table lamps which emit light exploding into vibrant colours. Carpets hanging from the centre’s high ceilings crafted with wood poles which characterize Qatari old houses also do not come unnoticed to every visitor.
“In old Qatari houses, hanging carpets are a usual sight since they are used to catch the dust that enters the house,” explained Al Mudahki.
“The interior of the centre reflects a typical old Qatari house. With the lights and colours used, we want to create an impression to everyone that comes that this is truly a centre for art,” she ended.
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