Alumni Mubarak Al Thani, Education Advocate, Artist, Donates Work to GU-Q
The striking canvas paintings of innovative artist and Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) graduate, Mubarak Al-Thani, were on show at a solo art exhibition and public lecture on the GU-Q campus recently. Speaking to an audience of current students, faculty, and staff, the artist shared the inspiration for his paintings, and discussed the important role of art in his advocacy work and for Qatar’s development.
“I was very pleased to return to Georgetown and to share with my university community the many influences of my studies in my work. As a member of the alumni, I also wanted to share what life has been like for me after graduating,” said Mubarak, a graduate in International Politics, who works with dimensions, colors, geometrics, abstraction, and literal expressionism to depict architectural landscapes and reflect on cultural, historical, and political themes.
He shared how through his work, he aims to challenge cultural expectations of what art can be, and inspire curiosity and discussion on the themes of his work. “Abstract art is the most liberating type of art,” said Mubarak. “It acts as a mask, behind which any artist can express him or herself more freely without worrying much about perception.”
Mubarak also draws heavily on his artistic aesthetic for his work as the Head of Advocacy at the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, where through artwork, he communicates the importance of promoting the right to education for marginalized communities in conflict zones. “Visual representations are a powerful way to make a convincing argument.”
“Mubarak’s artwork bears testament to the unique role of art in engaging, inspiring, and promoting dialogue in the community,” said the dean of GU-Q, Dr. Ahmad Dallal, who gave the opening remarks at the exhibit. The dean also accepted Mubarak’s gift of three works of art which will be prominently displayed at the university, along with the donation of three works of art for a short term exhibit.
A former artist in residence at Doha Fire Station, Mubarak has also previously shown his work in two exhibitions in New York City while working at the United Nations and attending NYU for his MA in Urban Planning.