Our Fine Arts & Design department at the Lebanese International University is built around 99 instructors that come from different fields of design and art. The diversity of our team provides our students with a wide range of exposure to different types of art education. Each has his or her own style, genre and way of involving students in the creative process. A lot of debates among the different views take place within the department, debates that question art and design and the difference between them, debates that question the process of creativity and the delivery to the students, debates on what is beautiful and what is ugly, and most importantly “what is art?” – a question from times immemorial that is still boiling at the core of our department. These debates and this questioning process are the essence of education, this type of critical thinking is what we are instilling in our students. We do not set the rules for the good or the bad, the beautiful or the ugly, the right or the wrong. We teach a process of creativity that questions everything to the core, we teach our students to ask questions and be critical in finding answers.
The heterogeneous nature of our faculty members results in this diversity in education; it introduces our students to a large collection of different techniques and genres in arts and design. This exhibition is a microcosm of our faculty’s diversity. We are showcasing works by our art instructors. There was no selection procedure involved for choosing the artworks. Instead, we gave our faculty members the freedom to choose what they consider their “magnum opus” and therefore, what we have is a variety of artworks that are mostly paintings in addition to some video works and small conceptual installations — pieces that are as diverse and different as our faculty members. They are all serving one sole objective, though: the betterment of our students’ educational journey.
A big thanks is extended to all our faculty members for their dedication and commitment to education and especially the art instructors who are teaching the foundation year courses as a base for creativity and skilled design. Also, I would like to express our appreciation to the administration for its continuous encouragement and endless support of all our initiatives. Thank you to the dean, Dr. Tarek Harb, the vice president for academic affairs, Dr. Ali Tarabay, and to the vice president for administrative affairs and great supporter, Dr. Samir Abou Nassif. And finally, a warm thanks to the university’s president, his Excellency Mr. Abdul Rahim Mourad, who founded the basis of our university on diversity and promised us a better future by providing the best quality of education for all. Hassan Choubassi Chairperson Fine Arts & Design Department