Top art events in Doha this month

16 exhibitions and arty happenings for your diary

Top art events in Doha this month

The Essence of Life
Until May 3

The International Artists Doha are putting on their fourth annual exhibition at the AaQool atrium in Education City. Dubbed Rooh Al Hayat, or The Essence of Life, the exhibition presents works by 22 Doha-based artists hailing from diverse backgrounds and 12 nationalities. These latest works from the group all aim to address the theme in a wide range of styles from realism to abstract. Entrance is free and you also have the opportunity to buy local works. On May 1 the exhibition is open 10am-6pm; May 2 noon-6pm; May 3 10am-4pm.
AaQool atrium, 2nd floor, Qatar Foundation Recreation Centre, Education City. Visit or email

Strange Wonders
Until May 6

Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar is hosting their annual faculty exhibition this year at the Msheireb Enrichment Centre with the theme of ‘Strange Wonders’. The exhibition will showcase new works by current members of staff and faculty, and this year sees the first ever collaboration with Msheireb museums.
Msheireb Enrichment Centre, Sheraton Park (3319 7482).

Urban Identity Crises
May 1-8

A collection of experimental films by Northwestern University students inspired by evolving cityscapes in Doha and Paris are being screened at Katara Arts Centre. The opening night as May 1 at 7pm and then until May 8 the exhibition runs from 10am to 10pm. It’s free to enter.
Email Building 5, Katara Culture Village (4408 0244).

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra performances
May 1, 8, 14, 18, 24, 31

The world renowned Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra is busy in the coming months presenting the final performances of the season at the Museum of Islamic Art auditorium and Katara Opera House. Events include a Grieg piano concerto, more in the chamber music series, two world premieres and The Seasons of Hadyn.
For more information and to see the schedule of events visit

The Writing Exchange
May 3

Share your writing with a like-minded group. Interactive and engaging exercises and activities will bring out your inner creative writer. It’s perfect for adults, university-aged and up, and is free to attend from 5pm.
Building 5, Katara Cultural Village (4408 0244).

Mastaba: Conversations on Art
May 3

A monthly themed discussion for/by artists and art enthusiasts (in English and Arabic) from 6pm. Follow Katara Art Center on Facebook or Twitter to find more about the upcoming themes for each of the discussions.
Building 5, Katara Cultural Village (4408 0244).

BFA and MFA Exhibition
May 4-June 4

The VCUQatar bachelor of fine arts (BFA) and master of fine arts (MFA) showcase is the annual exhibition of Qatar’s graduating artists and designers. The exhibition features a wide range of work that represents the culmination of the techniques and concepts developed throughout their experience at VCUQatar. The opening reception is on May 4 at 5pm. It’s then free to all and open to the public.
Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, Education City (4402 0555).

Community Supported Art
May 7-14

This innovative exhibition returns in its second year. Katara Art Centre solicits artists from the community and collectors to support the work, which leads to an exhibition that takes place at The Gallery. The opening is on May 7 at 7pm.
Katara Art Centre, building 5, Katara Cultural Village (4408 0244).

Carmina Burana and The Planets
May 11

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra performs Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in Qatar National Convention Centre with Gustav Holst’s The Planets making up the other half of the concert. While the orchestra performs, a film made by Duncan Copp incorporating the latest NASA footage, ‘The Planets: An HD Odyssey’, will be projected above the orchestra. Tickets are priced at QR100 or QR50 for restricted view seating.
Qatar National Convention Centre, Al Luqta (

Les Misérables
May 13-17

Boublil and Schonberg’s hit musical will be at Qatar National Theatre and performed by The Doha Players on May 13 to 15 (7.30pm), May 16 (2pm and 7.30pm) and May 17 (3pm). Tickets are QR75 and QR100, available from The One in Villaggio and Landmark.
Visit for more information.

Jazz in the park
May 14

The Museum of Islamic Art and Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha have partnered up to offer us a series of free world-class jazz concerts in the MIA Park. Sit by the café with a fantastic view of the Doha skyline in front and the enjoy tunes by visiting New York-based musicians for free on a monthly basis.
Museum of Islamic Art Park, next to Doha Port, Corniche. Visit for more information.

Mona Hatoum: Turbulence
Until May 18

Turbulence’ presents the diversity of artist Mona Hatoum’s work over the last 30 years and is curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath. The exhibition’s premise builds on the artist’s work Turbulence (2012), a 4x4 metre square made of thousands of glass marbles and laid on the floor. This is the artist’s largest solo exhibition to date in the Arab world, featuring more than 70 works ranging from large-scale room installations to smaller works on paper and sculptures.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Education City.

Create & Inspire
Until June 12

This popular regional art competition by Crossway Foundation, in partnership with Art Jameel and Qatar Museums Authority, launched in March and will stretch until June 12. The theme this year is ‘The world is not black and white’ and has been inspired by the Qatar Brazil 2014 Year of Culture. The 12 winners, who will be announced in August, have the opportunity to travel to Brazil and go on the creative adventure of a lifetime. To enter, just visit
For more information visit or email

Kings and Pawns
Until June 21

This free-of-charge exhibition explores the history of board games in the Islamic world from India to Spain between the 7th and 20th century. As board games play a role in everyday culture in this part of the world the exhibition focuses on chess, from its origins in India, and other board games with Indian and Islamic ties such as ludo, and snakes and ladders. It features the boards, pieces, manuals, paintings and illustrated manuscripts.
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha port (

Art is one of the roads to Paradise
Until July 6

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is presenting its second spring show called ‘Art is one of the roads to Paradise’ by Lebanese-American artist Etel Adnan and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. The exhibit aims to highlight the diversity of her work through paintings, drawings, leporellos (folded printed materials), tapestries, writings and films from the 1960s onwards. This exhibition is free to enter.
Education City, off Al Luqta Street (4402 8855).

Amman design pop-up shop
All month

Another long-awaited edition of the series of pop-up shops at Katara Art Centre has arrived and it brings designs of all types. This time it specifically features designers from Amman, Jordan and has been curated by Danah Abdulla, designer and founder of Kalimat Magazine.
Katara Art Centre, building 5, Katara Cultural Village (4408 0244).

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