A modern art space dedicated to supporting artists through the residence program and engage with the local communities, the Fire Station Museum Qatar conducts various events like exhibitions and public programs. Once home of the first civil defense authority in Qatar
Previously home to the first civil defense authority, the fire station museum Doha was built in 1982 and then remolded to host the Fire station: Artist in Residence. Ibrahim Al Jaida was the leading architect of the project who preserved the details of the building and its tower. The Annex and extended building were added to the original structure. Facilities, production support, mentorships and curatorial support are offered at the station. Residents are chosen through an Open call application process, after which a jury chooses up to 20 artists.
History of The Building
Back in 1982, the station was built as the civil defense, occupied the fire brigade that served the country for over 30 years till 2012 when the last fire engine evacuation. It was given to the museum in Qatar to be repurposed for modern use. The Fire station: Artist in Residence was born. The museum has preserved its original façade along with original features that kept the true essence of the building. The interiors of the building were designed keeping in mind the demands of the resident artists.
The overall look of the building is raw, industrial and minimalist. The design is a honeycomb façade, quite popular in society. Some of the other places that were renovated along with the museum were the cafes, art supply shops, cinema and other amenities for artists.
The fire station garage has been transformed into an exhibition space called the “Garage Gallery” for artists to show case their work and production every year in June. It has several international exhibitions throughout the year.
Suggested Read: Towers In Qatar That Present A Unique Sight To Watch
Residency Program- Something For Everyone
Art is one of the many ways of expressing emotions that only a true artist would understand. Each year, the Fire station offers a platform for resident artists to present their colorful, spirited and dynamic art. Every year, apart from the exhibitions, the museum offers residency program to those who are keen on learning art and dream of becoming artists one day.
Artist in Residence
Every year, artists from around the world enroll in the 9-month artist residency program, which is between September to June. Through this residency, artists are given a chance to give shape to their artistic side through mentorship, working with curators, open studios and avail facilities like fabrication lab, woodshop and exhibition space. At the end of the residency, artists are given a platform to present their art work at a gallery.
Eligible Criteria For The Program
Artists who are 21 and above can apply for the residency program. On the other hand, those who are pursuing the Academic program will not be allowed to apply. Visual arts, drawing, sculpture, media art, installation, graphic arts, photography, film, sound art, design and literature are some of the artistic practices the program is open too.
Things The Program Offers:
- Complete access to a furnished studio space
- Availability to the wood workshop and fabrication lab under supervision
- Mentorship, Guidance and Critique
- Opportunities of Networking and Engaging sessions with various artists
- Coverage in the papers and on social media
Residency in Paris and New York
Paris offers artists a 3-month residency that is different from the rest. It is an opportunity where artists are given a chance to work and live in a studio. The residents are given the freedom to interact and work with artists from all over the world. The residents are given a chance to give shape to their artistic practice while pursuing the program and interact with what the museums, galleries and art spaces have to offer.
The 3-month program is eligible for all those who are 21 years and above. On the other hand, those pursuing the academic program will not be allowed to apply. The resident will be responsible for whatever assignments and leave of absence. After the program is offer, the artists will be given a reference letter given to an employer accepting them into the program.
What Does The Residency Provide?
Young artists are given access to a fully furnished studio space. The artists pursuing the program are given pocket money each month that cover all their living expenses.
Summer Program For The Youth
The idea of allowing young artists to discover art and develop their artistic skills is a part of the summer residency. The summer residency program offers students a chance to be a part of the learning process that takes place each year.
Each young artist is given a chance to develop and create some of the finest art pieces. Students are given mentored on a daily basis and are given a chance to talk about art. Young artists are allowed to showcase their art work once their residency is over.
Suggested Read: Car Museum Qatar: A Paradise For Vintage Car Lovers
Amenities Offered By The Fire Station Qatar
While pursuing their residency, students are given the opportunity to avail of some of the amenities offered by the fire station Qatar. Some of the amenities include:
The resident artists can avail of the wood shop for their production and prototyping work, nestled in at the Fire station. Artists are mentored as to how tools are sued and where certain materials are needed in their projects. It is one of the finest places artists are allowed to grow and develop their skills.
The artists in residence are offered support by the Fabrication lab to give shape to all their digital fabrication needs. Laser cutter, vinyl cutter and 3D printer are some of the tools used at the lab. The residents are allowed to use the tools and resources at the lab.
Exhibitions Held At The Fire Station Qatar
Exhibitions are an exposure given to the young rising artists to show case their artistic skills through their art. Speaking of exhibitions, let’s get a sneak peek into some of the art work displayed.
Suggested Read: Doha Bus: Your Go-To Way For A Fun-Filled City Tour
Work showcased from various uncertain times are seen at Grey times, that has adapted itself to the present pandemic engulfing the world. Each artist is given a set of responsibilities that will enable them to shape their skills, which in due course will be reflected in their piece of work. The exhibition is divided into two parts, which include:
In the first part, artists have to think about their responsibilities, think of happy memories and discuss their doubts that are seen their art work, on various platforms. These platforms address a range of issues that involve anxiety and withering away of time.
The second part includes an artist looking for his or her presence based on the constructive opinions and the changing surroundings. Identity, political issues, environmental awareness and technological developments are relationships that are discussed. The attitude and behavior of a person is seen changing with time.
Exhibitions Of The Past
Have you heard of the famous painter Picasso? Well, there is a studio that is named after him in Qatar, where his art work examined closely. His art work tell a story of his life, right from birth till death. During his early stages of his career, Picasso has several studios which he had a close connection with throughout the history of modern art. Paintings to sculpture, drawings, engravings and ceramic works are a range of art work seen at the studio. These are works of art that Picasso was attached too and never wanted to let go off.
KAWS: He Eats Alone
Did you know one of the first exhibitions held in the middle east was KAWS: He eats alone?. His career and wide oeuvre are discovered along with the paintings and sculptures of the past. His image has been reflected as a sophisticated, dark humored person who was torn between art and consumerism, which has been reflected in art and culture. KAWS real name is Donnelly, who in the 1990s began his career in street art.
KAWS created some of the finest pieces of art displayed at the Fire station Qatar which include a large sculpture, “Companion”, in the fire station courtyard and public art and “Holiday”. These are many of his art works that can be seen at the Fire station.
Air Exhibition: Dual Inspiration
Inspiration as a platform is discovered as one of the intellectual concepts. Artists during the course of their residency program have been have scintillating debates with curators and researchers who have given rise to an artistic approach right from birth to the final stages of artwork.
The juxtapositions and similarities between artists, discussion of ideas, methodologies and visions gave birth to exhibitions. With certain boundaries, modernism and contemporary art with always be a topic of discussion. Discovering changes in artistic methodologies and looking for answers in contemporary ideas and tools, artists designed artwork taking inspiration from modern Arab artists.
Kazimir Malevich: Genius of the Russian Avant-garde
Several kinds of paintings were unveiled back in 1915, which changed the world of art. Kazmir Malevich has pushed the boundaries of art and gave rise to the various shades of color and shapes as a form of expressing feelings. Defining the language of modern art for the future generation, he gave birth to Suprematism. Changes in art and society in Russia and other places discovered the art of various forms. Sketches, poster designs, various forms of paintings, ceramic work, sculptures and costumes are all examples of Kazimir Malevich’s work of art displayed at the exhibition.
Russian Avant-garde: Pioneers And Direct Descendants
Some of the most stunning Russian fine art masterpieces were showcased at the Qatar Russia 2018 year of culture. Traces of artwork created by some often finest Russian artists are seen in the creations of the artists of the Avant- Garde second wave at the exhibition. With the invention of creative ways of dealing with traditional methods and materials, the most radical discoveries gave birth to itself.
Ai Weiwei’s Laundromat
Revolved around a wide makeshift camp, Ai Weiwei’s laundromat is a traveling installation focusing on the present European migrant crisis. Ai Weiwei witnessed the horrible plight of refugees around the world, as part of his documentary Human Flow. Several refugees were scattered the minute the Idomeni camp shut down in May 2016. With the shutting down of the camp, Ai Weiwei and his team cleaned and collected all the possessions that were left behind to preserve their tumultuous experience.
Ai Weiwei is known for his art which entail a call for action on issues that deal with global communities.
Infinite Dimensions was given birth to under the governance of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani. Nurturing creative talent from all over the world, the exhibition portrays the end of a successful period of the Artist in Residence Program. Artists discovered their passion and talent, and pushed themselves by giving shape to their own artistic methods and working with fellow creators.
German Encounters –Contemporary Masterworks From The Deutsche Bank Collection
The world’s most talked about contemporary art highlights the “Qatar Germany 2017 year of culture”, displayed at the Fire station. Development of German art and history of Qatar is seen through various photographs and paintings. Contemporary art includes work created by several German artists and is exhibited at the Qatar Museums’ Artist in Residence program. Giving rise to talented, innovative and exciting artists, local collectors and viewing public is one of the most important features of the Qatar museum.
The exhibition held at the fire station has dedicated itself to showing Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti, artists that belonged to the 20th century. Tourists will get to discover over 120 paintings created by these two artists, despite having a difference of 20 years. These paintings narrate a story of how these two artists shared a personal and professional relationship. The 6 parts of the exhibition represent an artist’s work which include their work back to when they began to the present which include modernist creations, the impact of a surrealist movement and back to the post war period.
Self Portrait (1901), Woman Throwing a Stone (1931) and The She Goat (1950) by Picasso and Flower in Danger (1932), Tall Woman (1960), and Walking Man (1960) by Giacometti are some of the key works seen at the exhibition.
Suggested Read: Orient Pearl Restaurant Qatar: For A Special Night To Enjoy
Retail At Fire Station Qatar
The international cuisine offered by the restaurant offers people a taste of the local flavors which are cooked with healthy gluten free, organic and a touch of Doha. Apart from being a restaurant, it is also a food truck. The menu is designed according to everyone’s taste.
The art supplier retailer is dedicated to giving shape to art and artists in the country. Winsor and Newton, Daler Rowney, Faber Castell and Cass Art's own range of products are some of the finest art materials artists can use. So, what you waiting for? Go ahead and explore the artistic side of the Middle East.
Suggested Read: Store 974 Qatar: Top Things That You Must Take A Look At
Reasons To Visit Fire Station Museum
In the initial days, Doha fire station museum was an actual fire station which has now been converted into Doha’s art hub dedicated to inspire art. Artists are given support through the 9 month “Artist in Residence” Program, an engaging artistic platform for cultural and creative exchange. Whether you are looking to explore a lot more of the middle east or simply an art lover, there are several reasons why you should visit the Fire station.
1. An Historic Building Made Into An Art Space
Have you ever wondered by it is called the Qatar fire station museum? It used to be one when it was initially built and used to be home to the civil defense authority in Qatar till 2012. It was given to Qatar museums to be remodeled for contemporary use. It finally opened to the public in 2015 along with 555 exhibitions.
2. Finest Exhibitions
It is one of the places to go to in Qatar for its exhibitions as it boasts of the finest art collections. Exhibitions are held throughout the year that show case art work by several international artists like Alberto Giacometti, Ai Weiwei and Kazimir Malevich. What more can anyone want when it comes to exploring the finest art collection in the Middle East?
3.Take Photographs Of The Murals
The fire station museum Doha is the best place to see all murals and take photographs. All the art lovers will be transported into a different world of murals and other works of art.
Fire station Museum is one of the finest platforms for all the artists to boast their art work. People will be awe struck by some of the finest works done by several international artists. All the artwork displayed have a story to narrate about the history of the country and the artists. So, when it comes to explore the world of art, book your flights to Qatar and have the best time of your life.
The fire station museum was built in 1982 as a fire station, which was then converted into a museum.
The museum has the finest collection of all kinds of artwork which can only be seen in the Middle East. People can even enjoy taking photos of some of the murals.
The fire station museum in Qatar is situated in Mohammed Bin Thani St. It is one of the finest tourist destinations in the world to visit at least once.
The museum is open from Saturday to Thursday: 9am – 7pm and Friday: 1:30pm – 7pm. It is a sight to see and shouldn’t be miss out on.
People can spend a day at the beaches, go shopping and much more while on vacation. It is a once in a lifetime experience.
People can visit the museum anytime of the year, but if they are looking for a specific time, then between December and February is the ideal time as the weather is pleasant.
Yes, it is safe to plan a vacation to the Middle East as it is known for its tight security. Of course, people should explore the richness of the country.
Tourists can take call the photographs of the murals seen at the museum. It will be a sight and holiday to remember for a long time to come.