Doha has steadily gained the reputation of a city that hosts and honours artists from all cultures and countries. The state of the art facilities and increasing number of art enthusiasts are ever ready to welcome and appreciate creative artists.
One illustration of Qatar’s love for art and artists is the annually held Qatar International Art Festival (QIAF) that gathers artists from across the world and provides them exciting opportunities to exhibit their talent in Qatar.
Following the successful first version last year, the second edition of the six-day-long QIAF, one of the largest art festivals in Qatar, is all set to kick off at Katara Cultural Village from October 30.
Over 200 artists/participants from more than 70 different nationalities are going to take part in the art festival that will start from October 30 – the day the guest artists will reach Doha – to November 4 when award and certificate distribution ceremony will be organised. The Festival is organised by MAPS International WLL , a Qatari company. The QIAF will host a number of events such as cultural tour, live painting, master classes, painting exhibition, panel discussion and Artistic Fashion Show.
Talking to Community, Rashmi Agarwal, founder and president of MAPS International, said: “The festival will start from October 30 when we will receive our artist guests coming from outside Qatar. About 100 artists are coming from outside Qatar. Same day in the evening, we will have a press meet to explain different activities that will take place during the festival.
“On October 31, we will take our visiting artists to a cultural tour of Qatar. The tour will start from National Museum of Qatar. Then we will take the artists to corniche and from there we will go to The Pearl-Qatar. Our next destination during the tour will be Qatar Foundation and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. The tour will end at Souq Waqif Art Center.
The organiser further said: “On the morning of November 1, the artists will take part in live painting event that will be held at Al Hikma courtyard – Fountain Area in Katara. In the evening, there will be a VIP opening of the exhibition at Building number 18 and 19 of Katara. On November 2, live painting will continue in the morning, followed by six different art master classes in the afternoon. In the evening from 6:30 to 8pm, there will be an art panel discussion. The discussion will be held between eight eminent personalities as panellists from Qatar and different parts of the world.”
Rashmi added: “November 3rd is going to be a special day. After the live painting episode in the morning, there will be an artistic fashion show in the evening. The show will have three parts; the wearable fashion, home interior designs, and real art designs – paintings and sculptors. On the last day of the festival, there will again be live painting show in the morning and the award and certificate distribution ceremony will be held in the evening.”
The organiser is upbeat about the second edition and said: “This is going to be a bigger and more diverse festival. Last year we had 147 participants and the number has gone over 200 this year. The new attraction in the second edition is inclusion of artistic fashion show.
“This year’s festival is bigger and we will have three main galleries of Katara available for the exhibition. About 50 artists will take part in the festival for the second time. The Festival is organised in collaboration with Katara and our official travel partners are Turkish Airlines. The festival provides an opportunity to the artists coming from different countries to know each other, learn about each other’s art techniques and have networking for future references.”
Speaking about appreciation for art in Qatar, Rashmi said: “Art lies at the heart of Doha. The city has fast been becoming a place where plethora of art related activities take place every year. It has become a privilege for an artist to be in Qatar. Here one can get amazing opportunities to exhibit their skills and add a few feathers of recognition in their plume.
“It provides a good platform to the artists in Qatar and also all over the world. The festival helps many international artists in gaining recognition and selling their artworks in Qatar. In 2010, Qatar was declared a cultural country of the region.”
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