The Leatherby Libraries is proud to host
, a new art exhibit featuring artwork by refugees. Located in the Doy and Dee Henley Reading Room, the space is home to pieces from the private collections of Thar Alsayegh, Aktham Alsayegh and Carmen Garcia, refugee artists from Cuba and Iraq. The exhibit that was curated by Michelle V. J. Duman, Director of Strategic Community Partnerships at the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts opened opened September 1st, 2016 and will continue until November 1s, 2016.
Here is some information about the artists.
“I am an artist and painter, born and raised in Mesopotamia, Iraq, experiencing the contrasting faces of life. The face of beauty, with its rich culture and its diversity of nature, as well as the ugly face of the consecutive wars I grew up during made me flee my homeland in Iraq. It wasn’t until I settled down as a refugee that I could start all over again. Both faces helped me to see life with my own vision that I can express on canvas. My work focuses mainly on women and children, seeing women as the source of life, beauty and giving and children as hope for the future and the innocence we need to balance our life and our world.”
“As an artist in Cuba, I was not able to paint freely or show art that did not reflect what the Cuban government approved. As a result of this oppression, I could not earn a living as an artist and could no longer bear the economic hardships. This fear I felt as an artist made me desperate to leave Cuba. I decided to make the painful and courageous decision to flee Cuba for the United States, where I knew I would have the freedom to express myself through art without the risk of arrest or being silenced. As difficult as my journey was and continues to be, I am grateful to be in this country and am working very hard as an artist to make a new life here.”
“I am an Iraqi artist, in love with my homeland, nature and the goodness of beauty. I care about the case of the human being, regardless of race, color, religion, political views or cultural backgrounds. Growing up, I studied art and ultimately taught it for 13 years in Amman, Jordan. Unfortunately I couldn’t complete my degree due to the war in Iraq. My father’s political attitude against Sadam’s regime forced me and my family to flee our beloved country in 1999. Now at the age of 46, I’m starting my life over in Pittsburgh, PA, doing my best to finish my studies and get the degree in fine art that I always dreamed of.
I want to teach my children that following your dreams is possible and it is never too late to do so, no matter how tough life can be.”
The opening reception for “External Peace” was held Wednesday, October 5 in the Doy and Dee Henley Reading Room. Guests arrived to experience the beauty of the paintings as well as hear from the featured artists. It was great collaboration of backgrounds and experiences!
Please stop by and visit the exhibit currently on display at the 2nd floor of the library in the Doy and Dee Henley Reading Room.