Q Life

Empowering Qatar’s Emerging Talent

October 2023

Empowering Qatar’s Emerging Talent

Qatar is a thriving hub for arts and culture. Through developments such as the National Museum of Qatar, numerous art exhibitions, and architecturally compelling buildings, Qatar has paved the way for new artistic horizons in the region. A unique feature of Qatar’s art scene is the dedication to empowering emerging talents through artist residency programmes.

Doha’s Fire Station, literally a repurposed former fire station, is a testament to Qatar pushing creative boundaries and embracing local talents. It offers an annual world-class artist residency programme, Artist in Residence (AIR), designed to nurture local talents by giving them the opportunity to sharpen their skills through mentorship, production support and studio space. Artists are then given the opportunity to exhibit their works at the completion of their residency in an exhibition held in Fire Station’s Garage Gallery.

As Saida Al-Khulaifi, Exhibition Curator of the Fire Station, explains: “Guided by our commitment to fostering creative talent in Qatar, our programme provides a dedicated nine-month period for artists to refine their artistic practices across disciplines such as visual arts, photography, film, sound art and design”.

“Beyond individual growth, the programme offers a unique platform for artists to forge connections, drawing mutual inspiration from one another.”

Since its inception in 2015, AIR has been a great success, with more than 92 participating artists. It has also grown to include a three-month residency at the well-known Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris and in New York City at Studio 209 NY.



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The Fire Station recently announced the opening of ‘The Present: The Future of the Past’ exhibition, which showcases the work of AIR alumni. The exhibition reveals the various stages of the alumni’s creative journey alongside their final artwork.

The AIR programme continues to grow year-on-year, with its 8th iteration currently featuring 17 artists from eight different countries.