Curating creativity

Shereen D’Souza discovers her true artistic potential Discuss this article

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© ITP Images

We’re going to go out on a limb here to admit that, deep down, we really believe we are, in fact, Michelangelo. So we head over to the Arts and Crafts Centre near Landmark after we heard that it’s offering ceramic painting, decoupage, pottery, sculpting and a host of different and exciting classes. Arts and Crafts Centre is a certified art centre in Qatar, with workshops customised for all ages and levels of experience (thankfully). Its ceramics are locally produced in Qatar from around 1,600 moulds, and can even be produced in bulk on request.

“Doha is a well-diversified country that appreciates art in all aspects,” says Lina Lotfi Moabi who devised the initiative. “So we decided to open a business that not only helps harness one’s skill in art but also adds meaning to their lives and unleashes their creativity with our guidance and expertise.”

Enter the space…
The studio is massive, with several rooms dedicated to so many different activities. The resident artist gives us a quick tour through the sculpture room, where we see some eerily human-like sculptures made from clay, the ceramic room, the decoupage room, and the area where all the kilns are. The studio and kilns can be rented for a fee, so if you’re a budding potter, you can use the equipment here to make that pot for your grandmother, like you’ve been planning to for years.

Get stuck in…
We choose a plain mould of a cat and two small teddy bears. These blank canvases are so inspiring that just a splash of paint convinces us of our creative genius. The artist guides us through the entire process. He explains the different painting techniques, the options we have to get the kind of finish we like and how to mix colours. We start with the base coat using acrylic paints mixed with a few drops of water, and slowly add the layers of different colours. While we’re in the zone feeling very accomplished already, far before we’ve come anywhere close to completion, he explains how to blend the colours with each other and this touch created all the magic. The teddy bear is quite basic, until we decide to put a blazer on him.

The finished products are true masterpieces. And we’re sure the artist agrees with us.

In fact, he even looks a bit shocked (he probably didn’t expect this much talent…).

It’s good way to bond…
We think this is a perfect team-building activity, and Moabi believes so, too. “It helps employees escape the monotony of their daily work routines, de-stress, share their talents and look at their job assignments with a new perspective,” she says. And after team Time Out Doha spend time painstakingly painting our beautiful royal Bengal cat (all its colours are off, mind) and our two small teddy bears – the most basic items in the ceramic room which only require one colour, brown – we already feel closer as a unit.

And it’s great for kids, too…
Arts and Crafts Centre does school trips, junior art camps, birthdays and corporate events, too. And this month, the centre has a special oil painting workshop for adults with renowned Iraqi artist Mozahim Al Nasiri. For those aged under 16, it has Arabic calligraphy and silk painting classes. All other workshops are fixed and organised on a regular basis. We’ll be right at the front to reignite our passion for art right under Al Nasiri’s nose.
For announcements on workshop prices, dates and times, keep an eye on www.artsandcrafts.qa. Villa number 7, Al Duhail (4486 5201).

By Shereen D’Souza
Time Out Doha,

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