Meet the Jury

Shazia Bhanji

An Enthralling Storyteller

Shazia Bhanji, Doha based Pakistani is a narrative paper sculpture artist who has a stunning array of work that can blow anyone away. Her portfolio spans a wide range but is mostly based on the narration of human stories and emotions. Over the years, she has found various techniques in how to manipulate, bend, and carve paper to make these magnificent masterpieces.

She is the Vice-Chairperson of International Artists Doha (IAD), teaches Paper Art at Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, and conducts bespoke workshops on paper sculpture and acrylic. She has done many solo and group exhibitions with like-minded artists from around the world in the Middle East and Asia. She is a member of the Algarve Society of Artists and Art Association of Australia & New Zealand.

She has transformed and redefined the concept of sculpture, including her latest work based on mechanical paper sculptures, which will revolutionize the world of paper art.

As part of contributing to society through art, Shazia works with Hamad Medical Corporation, supporting people with mental illnesses and disabilities through art workshops. Currently, she lives in Doha Qatar with her husband and 18-year-old daughter.

Khalifa AlMarri

Khalifa AlMarri is a visual artist who has made several contributions to the fine art community in Qatar. He is the director of ‘Man of the House’, which won a ‘Made in Qatar’ Award at Ajyal in 2015. AlMarri studied Mass Communications at Qatar University and holds a diploma in Directing and Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy. He studied cinema at La Feìmis University and made ‘Fragile’ as part of a joint Doha Film Institute – La Feìmis course in Paris in 2016. “Embodiment” was one of his abstract documentaries that played very well in festivals worldwide. His documentary film ‘Voyager’ is now traveling the world, screening in several festivals and exhibitions. He just finished shooting his latest narrative short film “OLAYAN” that was part of the QFF by the DFI.

Muna Al-Bader

Muna Al-Bader, also known as Artist of Blue, is a Qatari contemporary artist, entrepreneur, IT engineer, and business analyst. She is Qatar’s Art Ambassador at Qatar, one of the best 20 world’s change maker as per action summit 2020. and an artist in residence with Doha Fire Station .

She completed her Master of Business Administration (Merit) from Anglia Ruskin University, and has a Bachelor of Science and engineering in Information and Communication Technology (Honors)  from the University of Huddersfield.

Muna has been working on the blue color series for around three years as she got this inspiration from the surrounded environment which is the sea and the sky. Muna Saw the blue color paint has a freedom as it flow as the sea wave float over the sea. She had illustrated the traditional folklore dances on her painting and represent the happiness and the sadness behind this color.

Muna is an example of a women, who has utilized her talent to inspire women and people in general. Despite living in a conservative setting, she has proved herself and her talent. She uses her art to express her emotions and connect with thousands of people that feel strongly towards art as a medium of expression. Muna Al-Bader has achieved immense success due to her vision and dedicated hard work. She believes in nurturing passion and working towards goals by going against the norms. She is classic example of revolution and acceptance of women in her society.

Hessa Kalla

Hessa Kalla is Qatri artist. She is a member of the Waqif Center for the Arts – Qatar, Qatar Society for Fine Arts – Qatar and Member of the Art and Culture without Borders – Spain. In 2014, she won 1st place in Dhaka Asian Biennale. She won Oscars at the forum of fingerprints of plastic artists in 2015. She won the Arab Photography Award 2016. She got selected for Venice International Biennale – Italy. She participated in Cultural exchange between Qatar and Spain at the art gallery of the cultural district of Katara, Qatar. In 2019, she participated in Arab Art and Fashion Week in London. She participated in All exhibitions of the Qatar Society of Fine Arts from 2000-2018.

Suzana Joumaa

Suzana Joumaa is a multidisciplinary Artist, Interior architect, and Singer. She graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts Damascus University in the academic year 2006/2007, then she obtained the Master’s degree in fine arts from Faculty of Fine Arts Damascus University with distinction, addressing new research of its kind dealing with surreal architecture and surreal art in 2018.

She founded her own studio in 2005, then expanded the design to include conceptual architectural design as well and her works have spread to several countries.

She participated in many art galleries and developed her tools by studying parametric design and scripting. Suzana is a former assistant professor at the International Arab University in Damascus College of Architecture. she studied international arbitration diploma at Ain Shams University in Egypt in 2014. And has published papers in scientific and Art journals.

She won the Qatar Al Fann Competition in outdoor furniture and carpet categories and has participated as a key speaker in international conferences. As a singer, she has several works, including work at the Damascus Opera House and recent works in cinema & TV. She aims to mix arts and techniques, her works address the state of mind and dreams, her experience was affected by the war trauma that made her more manipulative with symbolism, with a mix between contemporary art and surrealism.

Her artistic vocabulary is a synthesis of composition and visualization of space with architectural eyes, the distribution of shadow and light is inspired by printmaking and all are combined in a state of delirium or separation from gravity.

Michael Perrone

He has done an MFA in Painting from The University of Pennsylvania and MA from School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He is currently working as Assistant Professor of Painting at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. He has vast teaching experience in International Arts Institutes. He has done a number of art exhibitions in New York, Doha, Berlin, Philadelphia, Miami, London, and Mexico City.

Dr. Shetha Faraj Abbo Al Numan

Born in Baghdad, raised in an academic artistic family who brought her up to respect and appreciate education, art, culture, and heritage. She has a Doctorate of Philosophy, from the Academy of Fine Arts, Baghdad University. She worked as an Associate professor with 14 years of teaching and administrative experience at the Design Department, Academy of Fine Arts, Baghdad University- Iraq. She has 14 years of experience in academic and administrative positions in Doha.

She is a Member of the International Artists of Doha. She has accomplished many academic pieces of research in design strategies and research methodology. She authored one textbook for design students at the Academy of Fine Arts, Baghdad University. She gave a number of lectures about the Basic Elements of Design, Islamic Art Principles, Student Affairs, and Academic Advising in Baghdad and Doha. She is a member of the Qatar Photographic Society and Qatar Plastic Art Society.

Behnaz Larsen

Behnaz Larsen is an Iranian-American residing in Doha, Qatar. She is a post-graduate from the University of Copenhagen. She is an art instructor in VCU and holds talks and art workshops in Denmark. Her style of painting can be described as contemporary realism. She uses oil on canvas and panels, fusing 15th to 17th century Old Masters Techniques and taints them with modern twists and simplicity.

Nourbanu Feras Hijazi

Nourbanu has done FA in Design, from Virginia Commonwealth University of the Arts in Qatar, 2018. Later on, She did BFA in Fine Arts and Design, from the University of Sharjah, UAE, 2015.

Nourbanu is an artist, designer, and educator. Her work mainly explores the human condition, specifically internal conflicts and mortality, examining these elements from a philosophical and psychological perspective though surreal and mythological themes. Her art style is a combination of analog and digital processes in which the artwork is considered as the whole process of the performance of research, exploration, experimentation, until its deterioration.

Based in Doha, Qatar. She has worked with galleries and museums in Doha, Lebanon, and the UAE. She has also worked as an artist assistant, researcher, curator assistant, and tour guide. She exhibited her artworks at international and national galleries.