All the programs were filled to capacity with 28 students in the Art Exploration program, 20 students in Creative Discovery program, and 24 students in the Design Intensive program.
Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar hosted Summer Art and Design Programs with three different programs designed to explore and advance art and design skills for students aged 9-18 years. Art Exploration was geared for students between the ages of 9 and12, Creative Discovery for students aged 13 to 15 and Design Intensive for those aged 16 and above.
In the Art Exploration program the students were introduced to the basics of art and design using different materials and techniques. Students who participated in the Creative Discovery program learned to merge traditional media and new digital media to build their design skills. During the two-week course, they were introduced to the VCUQatar majors and learned through drawing, painting, digital media, creativity exercises, and group activities. Students in the Design Intensive program explored traditional art media as well as digital media as an introduction to the various design disciplines. The three-week course offered experimentation, several workshops and students had to create an individual project related to: Fashion, Interiors, Graphics, or Painting & Printmaking. The students in the Creative Discovery and Design Intensive programs visited the Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf and Fitch. They also participated in a fashion design workshop facilitated by Melanie McClintock from VCUQatar’s Center for Research in Design.
All the programs were filled to capacity with 28 students in the Art Exploration program, 20 students in Creative Discovery program, and 24 students in the Design Intensive program. The programs culminated in exhibitions of student work for families to view and enjoy. The exhibition for the Art Exploration students was held on July 14 and a joint exhibition for the Creative Discovery and Design Intensive was held on July 28. Students were also given tours of the foundation studios and had the opportunity to speak with VCUQatar students about the admissions portfolio process and the freshman year. Lesley Gray, Student Affairs assistant, noted that the programs this year offered a much more intensive experience modeled after the summer intensive programs at VCU in Richmond, Virginia.
Visiting faculty Melanie Buffington and Jan Johnston from VCU in Richmond, Virginia, taught the courses along with Patricia Duignan who taught the Art Exploration program. The programs were a great success and employed one VCUQatar alumna and four VCUQatar students as program assistants. “It was an honor to teach students in Qatar for the fourth year through the VCUQatar summer programs for children. Each year the program expands and it is exciting to see the new developments,” said Assistant Professor Melanie Buffington.