Kathleen Ferguson-Huntington

Move Over, Scheherazade

Photo credits: bottom of page

In the year 2000, Kathleen Ferguson-Huntington took off on the academic adventure of a lifetime. Through Virginia Commonwealth University, she found a position teaching three-dimensional design and ceramics to students in Qatar, and for 12 years she worked with a challenging and often talented group of kids—some the children of royalty, others on scholarship. She tells us about sensitivity training before she left for the Middle East, taking a “test drive” in an abaya, and some of her unusual and gifted charges. One became a devotee of Twyla Tharp and could re-create her moves with amazing precision; another designed an award-winning trophy for a prestigious international horse race. Some even went on to topnotch design careers, and all taught Ferguson-Huntington as much as she taught them. She’s now at work on a memoir called Move Over Scheherazade, and it will surely be a reminder that the Middle East is a region we are only now beginning to understand.

More about Ferguson-Huntington can be found on her website: http://kathleenfergusonhuntington.com/home.html

From the artist's "Cactus Furniture" series (2008), made from clay and toothpicks and inspired by the local flora in Qatar

From the artist’s “Cactus Furniture” series (2008), made from clay and toothpicks and inspired by the local flora in Qatar

 

A color study in white, including a costume and headdress, by one of Kathleen Ferguson-Huntington's freshman students

A color study in white, including a costume and headdress, by one of Ferguson-Huntington’s freshman students

 

A red headdress by one of the Qatari students

A red headdress by one of the Qatari students

 

And a "Reed Hat." All were displayed as photographs during a symposium on Islamic art in Cordoba, Spain, 2009

And a “Reed Hat.” All were displayed as photographs during a symposium on Islamic art in Cordoba, Spain, 2009

 

The award-winning horse-race trophy designed by one of the artist's students

The award-winning horse-race trophy designed by one of the artist’s students

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