We live in one of the most tolerant places in the nation, yet the Bay Area is not immune to racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. Across the region, communities are building the means to bridge divides and tackle sources of conflict. One interfaith community finds solutions in art.
Exhibiting more than 100 works of art, the East Bay’s Faith Trio of the Montclair Presbyterian Church, the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC) and Kehillah Synagogue opened its Third Interfaith Art Exhibition Biennial on Saturday. This year’s theme – “We Are the Bridge” – aims to reveal how artists creatively envision themselves, their culture, faith, community, and art as a bridge from conflict to resolution and reconciliation. The opening kicked off with music by Aswat Ensemble.
Exhibition dates: May 3rd – May 30th at ICCNC. 1433 Madison St., Oakland, CA 94612 (2nd Floor, Gallery)
Exhibition is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(Funded in part with support from the San Francisco Foundation’s FAITHS fund, the Alliance of California Traditional Arts (ACTA), and East Bay Community Foundation.) The Ziya Art Center also contributed to organizing the event.
Asya Adrahman explores the meaning of restoration, generation and regeneration through an experimental art making process. Her paintings and writings spring from a lifelong experience with self-healing. Her work is a verbal and visual metaphor for rehabilitation and recovery. She plays with multiple mediums, from paints to plants to intangible theories.
Arash Shirinbab is an award winning artist and calligrapher from Iran, residing in Berkeley California. Shirinbab has devised over 15 calligraphy workshops, demonstrations, and presentations in educational and cultural institutions. Different forms of art and particularly Arabic-Persian calligraphy has been one of Arash’s passions since the age of 11. Merging painting and calligraphy, Arash has created and coined a new style of painting called Poem-Painting—a style in which the artist uses both linguistic and aesthetic powers of words to create a poetic visual art piece. He combines calligraphy, painting, and poetry in his pieces and crafts words, lines, textures, and colors to envision a mysterious, enchanting, and unique world that has Persian identity while being contemporary and international.
Dave Platford’s expression of the world today comes from the innovative fusion of nature and technology. At the Academy of Art University he studied the traditional and contemporary oil painting techniques and principles of Realism, Pop-Art, Abstract Expressionism, Surrealism, Graphic Design, Street Art, and Eastern Aesthetics. Ultimately he went his own direction, developing a unique poetic visual language with paint. His inspiration comes from traveling to sacred places around the world, plein-air painting and observing the interaction of contrasting elements.
Maryam Vesal is an artist working and living in San Jose. She has learned Persian miniature and Tazheeb under masters in Iran such as Mehran Lotfali and has been practicing and creating traditional artwork for more than 10 years. In her practice, she is challenged by the existing differences and similarities in Western and Eastern standards of beauty. She is a multidisciplinary artist, working in ceramics, photography, painting, performance and installation sculpture.
Amirbehnam Tehranifar is from Iran and has moved to the US in the past year. He graduated from Art University of Tehran in Graphic Design. He has ten years of experience in making art and is currently working as a freelance graphic designer.
Stay tuned for a follow up post with more about Leah and other artists and their experiences participating in this month-long Biennial.