Section Title Here Swalif: qatari art between memory and modernity A volunteering crash course
Section Title Here About training
Ice breaker (5 minutes)
Volunteering @ Exhibition (30 minutes)
Break (10 min)
How to talk about Modern Art (30 minutes)
Tour of museum. (10 minutes)
Section Title Here About the exhibition
This exhibition is entitled Swalif: Qatari Art Between Memory and Modernity.
Our first exhibition dedicated to telling the story of modern art in Qatar.
Swalif celebrates more than twenty of Qatar's most influential artists and four decades of art production in an exhibition selected from the collection of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition runs from 14/08/2011-29/10/2011.
You’re all getting a Fact Sheet with useful information.
About mathaf We opened our doors in December 2011. We are open for…
Expression: We encourage creativity.
Discussion: We host art workshops, lectures, school visits, and more. We hope people will come here to talk about art.
Interpretation: We want people to figure out what art means to them.
Ideas: We love ideas.
Education is a very important part of what we do. But, it’s not “education” like you’ve experienced it before.
info everyone should know How to answer visitor questions:
Remember, people will remember you as the face of Mathaf. Always smile, be welcoming and polite.
You might hear the same question 1000 times –always act politely and answer as best as you can.
If you can’t solve a problem, find me! I will have my mobile all night in case of emergencies.
info everyone should know The Building:
Map: Please familiarize yourself with the day’s schedule, the location of the bathrooms, café, education center, and library.
Wifi: Free wifi internet –guests should look for a network called mathaf_guest
Lockers: There are lockers where guests can store their bags, located near Makan. Keys can be obtained at the Front Desk.
Visitors can buy items at the gift shop.
Other: Any other questions can be directed to the Front Desk or Key staff.
All the galleries will be open, as well as the library and education center.
Even if you have been here before, we have made some construction changes to the building for the new exhibition. We will take a tour so you are familiar with the building.
info everyone should know Art and Visitor Safety If you see a visitor doing any of the following, ask them (politely) to stop:
Eating inside the galleries.
Photography inside the galleries (unless they are the Mathafis or press, with badges).
Photography is ok in the Atrium.
Children should stay with parents. If you see a child wandering by themselves, ask them where their parents are.
If a visitor is hurt, inform staff. If they can be moved, take them to Makan. We can arrange for an ambulance.
If a visitor needs a wheelchair, we have 3 for visitor use.
info everyone should know What if a visitor wants to learn more?
Fill out a Stay Informed card at the front desk.
info everyone should know What if a member of the press has a question?
You or I cannot speak on behalf of the museum –that is reserved for our communications team. This prevents any misinformation or confusion.
Inform them that you are a volunteer and that you are happy to try and direct them to an appropriate staff member. (FIND ME)
Photography is NOT allowed inside the galleries (rooms with artworks) –if you see someone who does NOT have a press badge taking photos, ie. a guest, please inform them politely of this rule. Artworks are very light-sensitive, and this rule preserves them.
If they are a member of the press, but do not have a badge that means they did not ask for prior permission. Inform them that we can take their information and give them permission for a later date.
Interviews: Mathaf staff can help arrange interviews with artists. Find us.
Wassan: Wassan Al-Khudhairi is our Director. If someone wants to interview her, find Mathaf staff.
Welcome visitors to the museum.
Usher visitors towards the galleries when they open.
Usher visitors if they are lost.
Answer any questions visitors might have.
Artist handlers will also be with you, looking for artists when they arrive.
Give visitors gifts when they arrive.
@10:00 set up the gifts to give visitors when they leave.
Answer visitor questions.
Arrange for taxis if guests need them.
Give guests keys for the lockers.
One person should count the number of visitors with the counter.
Our Admin. Assistant Rhodafe will also be at the desk to handle the phones.
Rhodafe can call emergency services if anything happens.
Encourage visitors to participate in an activity.
If visitors (children) use supplies like crayons and paper, please clean up after them so other visitors can use the supplies.
If they want to learn more about education have them fill a “Stay Informed” card.
If someone asks what programs we have at Mathaf, we do the following:
We have workshops taught by artists for adults and children.
Lectures by artists.
Conferences on modern and contemporary art.
Tours for any kind of group, children, adults, schools, universities.
Internships and Volunteering
The librarians will set out cool books related to Qatar for visitors to read.
Visitors can use the computers or free wifi.
galleries There are 3 galleries dedicated to this exhibition. All volunteers in the galleries should:
Take notes: we want to know which artworks visitors look at the most.
Curators and Mathaf staff will be in the galleries talking to visitors about art. You can help as well.
All volunteers will get some tips about how to talk about art. Don’t be afraid!
Answer questions about the museum.
galleries Volunteers in Gallery 2 have a special job.
Encourage visitors to participate in the Memory Web.
Explain: We want to hear your thoughts and opinions.
How to participate: Fill out a card. Visitors can hang cards on the web.
There will be cards and pencils for visitors to use.
Visitors might be worried or scared about touching the web. Let them know it’s ok!
(The actual web might look slightly different, and it will have instructions in Arabic and English.)
Details, details,details When should I arrive at Mathaf? Please arrive promptly at 8:00 PM.
What if I have a last minute emergency? Please call, text, or email me to let me know that you are late, or unable to come. Rasha Al Sarraj, Volunteer CoordinatorOffice phone: 4402-8820 Mobile: 5533-7639
What is the dress code? Please wear black and/or white. This will be a formal evening. You will also get a badge that you should wear at all times. Good choices: Bad choices:
Break (10 minutes)
Section Title Here how do I talk about modern art? A quick guide
Section Title Here How do you talk about modern art?
Don’t be afraid (it won’t bite.)
There is always more than one answer. Why? Because everyone has a different perspective.
Think about what you see.
What does your eye notice?
Then, think about what it means. What could the message be? What is the artist exploring?
What is not modern art? Before the 19th Century, artists were most often commissioned to make artwork for a religious building or a wealthy person. These artworks usually represented a biblical or mythological scene; they told stories and were intended to instruct the viewer. Illuminated Shamsa Indiac. 1640 –50Opaque watercolour with gold on paper38 × 27.4 cmMS.53.2007 A shamsa is the illuminated opening page of a manuscript, often found in albums from Persia and India. This page may have been made for one of the royal albums of Shah Jahan. The radiating sun-disk design often employed as a symbol of imperial power.
Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird Frida Kahlo 1940 Oil on canvas What makes art modern? “I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.” Frida Kahlo During the nineteenth century, many artists started to make art about people, places, or ideas that interested them and of which they had direct experience. Sometimes these new subjects led them to explore new ways of creating images. They experimented with color, technique, and different mediums. This art looked different from the established norm, and had quite different subject matter.
“This is not a pipe.” The invention of photography changed the way artists see the world. They didn’t want to show or copy “reality” any more. Instead they wanted to comment on the world.
Artists explored new mediums and materials. Procession FaridBelkahia Undated Henna on leather skin on board
They experimented with technique. Is there a right way to make an artwork?
Line, color, shape
Tell a story Relationship Faisal Laibi 1989 Oil on canvas
Contemporary art The work of younger artists can be very different. They explore different materials, techniques. They use ideas from all over the world –they are global.
remember this photo? This is Michelle, our Head of Education. What do you notice about how she’s talking to these students about art? Treat visitors as equals: Don’t talk down to visitors. Use clear and simple language. Listen to their ideas. Ask questions –this shows that you care.