VCUarts in Richmond has a sister campus almost 7,000 miles away in Doha, Qatar on the Persian Gulf. There are over 3,000 students in Richmond, and under 300 in Doha. VCUQatar is an enclosed campus, VCUarts in Richmond is bordered by the James River and tangled with the city, sharing space with local businesses and homes.
For every difference between the two campuses, there is a similarity. All of our students are passionate about the arts. They are risk takers, researchers and visual communicators. Through their creative and academic work, they carry on conversations that have been happening in arts and culture for centuries, while responding to modern ones that are intrinsic to new technologies. Both campuses are in capital cities and play a vital role in their respective communities as they bring arts and culture and a lively dialog to their cities.
We celebrate the differences between our two campuses, because they bring diverse conversations to the table, but at the end of the day we are really the same. We are all VCUarts. We are proud of the many opportunities we offer our have for students and faculty to get to know one another and build bridges across our two campuses.
VCUQatar hosts the biennial design conference, Tasmeem, which presents contemporary topics on art and design and brings international designers, artists, academics and industry professionals in for a week of innovation and dialogue. During Tasmeem, students take part in workshops to discover firsthand the value of intensive collaboration and creative output. Over the years, the ambitious themes of Tasmeem have gained the university widespread attention and praise, while fostering sustainable university-community partnerships that enhance the educational, economic and cultural vitality of Qatar.
The 2015 edition, ’3ajeeb!’,will focus on the power of ‘play’ and will celebrate the surprising and the playful in art, design, and education. ‘3ajeeb!’ (ahh-zhee-b), an expression in Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali meaning “strange in a strange way, cool in a cool way, and slightly weird in a slightly weird way,” embodies this focus – and the diversity and character of the VCUQatar community.
Select VCUarts students are identified to participate. The criteria used to select students varies from year to year, and the selection process is run by each department.
Every year up to 10 students are selected from a pool of applicants to study in Doha for a semester. This opportunity is open to rising juniors and seniors in the following majors: Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Art History and Painting & Printmaking. Other majors may be able to participate with approval. For questions and deadlines, please contact Jody Symula at email@example.com and the application can be found here.
Annual VCUQatar Day
A student initiated program, Qatar Day is an annual event on the VCU home campus featuring art and design projects from the Doha campus as well as traditional aspects of Qatari and Arab culture, such as henna, Arabic calligraphy, traditional Qatari clothing, etc. The event was developed to strengthen the relationship between the two campuses and provides Richmond students and faculty with an opportunity to learn more about the Qatar campus.
This year’s event is Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at the Student Commons from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. An evening reception will take place at the VCUQatar House – 1326 West Broad Street (on the corner of Bowe Street) from 5 – 6:30 p.m. and the deans from VCUQatar and VCUarts will be in attendance. Work from the Art Foundation students from VCUQatar will be on display.
Islamic Art Symposium
November 7-9, 2015
VCUQatar co-sponsors the biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art with VCUarts and Qatar Foundation. The conference is held every two years in various locations of historical significance to Islamic art and design. VCUQatar and VCUarts students majoring in Art History have the opportunity to attend and introduce distinguished speakers.
Shared Art History Course
Students can participate in a semester of learning together by registering for Islamic Art Survey, ARTH 260. This online course will engage students from both campuses.
More About VCU Qatar
VCUQatar is the Qatar campus of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. Established in 1998 through a partnership with Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, VCUQatar offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking, a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design studies.
Located in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, VCUQatar is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. The current student body represents a diverse range of nationalities with students coming from more than 40 different countries.
VCUQatar was the first campus established in Education City, a unique 2500-acre campus community. The university has since been joined by Weill Cornell Medical College, Texas A&M University, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Carnegie-Mellon University, Northwestern University, HEC Paris, and University College London.
In 2010, VCUQatar more than doubled its facilities through a major expansion project. The expansion has allowed for the integration of the university’s undergraduate and graduate programs under one roof, the connection of the research and entrepreneurship offices with curricular programs, and the expansion of our technical spaces to support all forms of visualization and research with a media lab, digital fabrication lab, printmaking studios, photography studio, an expanded library and the first materials library in the region.
VCUQatar strives to provide an engaged, learner-centered environment that fosters inquiry, discovery and innovation in a global setting and has substantial involvement with the emerging design industries in Qatar and is a significant catalyst for that growth.
VCUQatar graduates are pursuing successful careers within the government, nonprofit and private industries in Qatar and around the world. Many of our graduates have gone on to establish their own businesses, thereby contributing to the development of the small and medium enterprise culture in Qatar.
Click here to visit the VCUQatar web site
Click here to watch the Emmy Award winning student-produced VCUQatar documentary
Click here to read a 2009 article in the New York Times about Doha, Qatar
Click here to read a 2009 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about Doha’s Education City
VCUQatar offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking, a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design studies.