Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Community art expo at Katara to run till May 18

RAMY SALAMA

DOHA ENCOURAGED by the response of both local artists and art aficionados, the Katara Art Centre has extended until May 18 the Community Supported Art exhibition, which was earlier scheduled to conclude on May 11. The exhibition aims to facilitate direct contact between local artists and art lovers.

Speaking with Qatar Tribune about the motivation for the exhibition, KAC’s Communications Executive Karim Sultan said, “We wanted to provide a platform for a direct connection between artists and art lovers. Rather than just having an exhibition, we wanted to facilitate a more direct interaction between them” The Community Supported Art (CSA) programme seeks to provide a platform for both emerging and established artists to present their work in a format, which allows direct access to potential collectors of their work and to a wider audience. The idea behind the CSA is to create an accessible platform where collectors have an opportunity to engage with the artists and their work and to support them directly.

“We have a unique position between artists and collectors,” said KAC artistic director and curator Mayssa Fattouh. “By facilitating an active relationship between them, we aim to cultivate an active and, ultimately, a sustainable cultural community in Doha.” The programme works through the purchase of shares, entitling each shareholder to take home an artwork from the exhibition. The revenue of each share goes directly towards supporting the artist to produce the work.

Inspired by similar projects in North America, community- supported initiatives have appeared as a way to connect cultural producers with their audience through a tested market concept that encourages face to face connections and community building.

Sultan, placing the exhibition’s significance in context, said, “The exhibition happened purely and directly because people are supporting it, an important precedent which demonstrates that a community-supported initiative can lead to an exhibition.” In bringing together both established and emerging artists through the Community Supported Art initiative, contributing collectors and the wider audience will be able to examine the diversity of Doha’s artists in terms of style and subject matter covered.

This interaction between collectors and artists outside of the traditional gallery setting allows collectors to communicate directly with the artists on their work, direction, and vision. The interaction also helps artists to know popular tastes and commercialise their works.

The 14 artists participating in the CSA are Alanoud al Hajri, Ben Barbour, Christto Sanz & Andrew Weir, Erika Blumenfeld, Faraj Daham, Jaber al Azmeh, Khalid Albaih, Khalifa al Obaidly, Maher Attar, Maria Stabio, Mariana Heilman, Mohamed Abou El Naga, Rhys Himsworth, and Zachary Lewis Stensen.

The art includes a wide variety of limited edition photography and prints in a number of styles and covering a range of subject matter.

A majority of the work shown were produced specifically for the CSA.

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