Each year VCUQatar hosts an exhibition that showcases new art and design created by current university faculty and staff. This year sees the first collaboration with Msheireb Properties, with the exhibition being installed in the Msheireb Enrichment Centre, an educational portal showcasing Qatar’s past and its ambitious plans for the future.
The title of the show, ‘Strange Wonders’ is based on a direct quotation from one of the Qatar oil pioneers, Thamir Muftah, who spent his youth at sea with the pearl-fishing fleet before beginning work in Qatar’s oil industry in 1946. Describing the host of new experiences that he and his fellow oil workers encountered at that time, Muftah recalled that, “we were seeing so many things of the like of which we had never even imagined. Colored tins, pineapples, pears, oranges, all kinds of strange wonders".
By looking to Qatar’s past to stimulate innovative new art and design, this exhibition provides the opportunity for artists and viewers alike to consider and explore their own personal, contemporary and even tangential ‘Strange Wonders’. Participating faculty and staff include: Law Alsobrook, Ryan Browning, Marco Bruno, Paolo Cardini, Nathan Ross Davis, Diane Derr, Monique Fouquet, Levi Hammett, Fleming Jeffries, Ali Khan, Kelley Lowe, Thomas Modeen, Simone Muscolino, Jesse Payne, Michael Perrone, Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar, Ryan Rasmussen, Christine Tien Wang and Annette Wendling-Willeke.
“Msheireb Properties is very pleased to partner with Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar to host this inspiring exhibition at Msheireb Enrichment Centre. We take pride in introducing our community to the creative works from this leading university. Our partnership with VCU underlines our commitment to educational and cultural initiatives, and supports our vision to preserve our heritage and identity and build bridges between the past and the present,” said Eng. Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi, CEO, Msheireb Properties.
“This strategic collaboration fulfils our objective to enhance key relationships with national institutions and corporations across all industries, to support Qatar’s 2030 National Vision of developing a knowledge-backed economy,” he added.
VCUQatar Dean Allyson Vanstone and VCUQatar Exhibitions and Speaker Curator Caitlin Doherty with Msheireb Properties CEO Eng. Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi
Msheireb Properties CEO Eng. Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi examining VCUQatar Professor Simone Muscolino's exhibit
Msheireb Properties CEO Eng. Abdulla Hassan Al-Mehshadi speaking at the opening of the Strange Wonders exhibition