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04 July, 2013

VCUQatar Hosts Summer Program with Ministry of Social Affairs

For the third consecutive year, VCUQatar collaborated with the Ministry of Social Affairs to offer a summer art and design program to 20 young female Qatari students aged 14 to 20.

The students, with no background in art or design, were offered these programs as a new learning opportunity. VCUQatar alumni Yang Soon Ju (skill building) and Esra Kazem (object transformation) and VCUQatar Community Class instructors Shamim Hatim Dalal (paper quilling), Sangeeta Deepu (clay jewelry) and Asha Mathews (non-traditional jewelry) delivered a two week program with two sessions each day to the 20 students. VCUQatar students Omaima al Abdulla, Noor Suleiman, Rana Jubara and Geetha Rajeswar assisted.

The students attended the skill building session, which involved the development of basic collage, drawing and coloring skills. They could then choose to either learn two different jewelry making techniques – clay jewelry and non-traditional jewelry or two different product design and making techniques – paper quilling and object transformation, where they received a brief introduction to the respective subject and then went on to create a final project on their own.

The instructors and teaching assistants agreed the program was a very welcome opportunity to give back to the community and experienced sharing their passion with strangers as highly rewarding. They loved the fact that the students were interested and engaged in their work. “Although most of the students did a collage for the first time they explored their creativity with great enthusiasm finding out that the process can be very useful for their future work and hobby. Understanding line weight, different values and colors was challenging for the students, who despite this fact, in a very short time produced successful work,” said Ju. “Students started out by forming simple different shapes from clay and went on to create colored jewelry components,” said Deepu. “The process of working with clay is very soothing and relaxing, students did not want to stop,” she added.

Family members and friends were invited to an exhibition of the final projects on Thursday, 27 June 2013 at VCUQatar where students proudly presented their work in a show combining ideas for jewelry, lamps, frames, bags and envelopes as well as collages and art works.

VCUQatar Dean Allyson Vanstone handed certificates to the students in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs - Noor Al Thani, trainer, Muneera Al Muraikhi, social program specialist and AbdulHameed Al Mulla, public relations consultant, faculty, alumni, students and their families.

“It was very a joyful experience, especially that the course took place at VCUQatar,” said Latifa Al Kuwari, a student participating in the program. “We learnt basic skills in sketching, coloring, product design, object transformation and paper quilling, and the skills we learnt were beneficial for everyday life. We would like to thank the Ministry of Social Affairs for offering us this opportunity and for being there at our exhibition.” Another student Sheikha Al Sulaiti agreed. “The beginning was tough, and ideas did not flow easily,” she said, “but with practice, ideas started to flow in and we were able to apply the skills we learnt more fluidly in our work. Even the assistants and instructor helped us throughout the course. I would highly recommend others enroll in this program because I benefited so much from it, and so will they.”

The hope of the Community and Outreach Program team is to make this program one of a variety of regular annual collaborations between the Ministry of Social Affairs and VCUQatar, continuously promoting awareness for art and design in the community, providing a model for community engagement and learning opportunities for young Qatari students, who feel a need to develop their creativity.

VCUQatar is currently running its Young Students Summer Program with Art Fun for children aged 4 to 7 – they exhibit their work on Thursday 4 July; Art Exploration for children aged 8 to 10 – exhibition on 11 July; and Art Exploration for children aged 11 to 12 – exhibition on 18 July. All the exhibitions take place in room 370 at 11:15 am. Students from the Creative Discovery (aged 13 to 15) and Design Intensive (16 and above) program will showcase their work in an exhibition on 18 July at 12:00 pm in room 390 at VCUQatar.

Exhibition showcasing work produced by students who participated in the VCUQatar and Ministry of Social Affairs art and design program

Exhibition showcasing work produced by students who participated in the VCUQatar and Ministry of Social Affairs art and design program

Exhibition showcasing work produced by students who participated in the VCUQatar and Ministry of Social Affairs art and design program

Exhibition showcasing work produced by students who participated in the VCUQatar and Ministry of Social Affairs art and design program

Exhibition showcasing work produced by students who participated in the VCUQatar and Ministry of Social Affairs art and design program

Exhibition showcasing work produced by students who participated in the VCUQatar and Ministry of Social Affairs art and design program