The I AM exhibition organized by CARAVAN, an international peacebuilding nonprofit, will be showcased at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, WA from June 10- August 7, 2018, as part of its 16-month USA tour. I AM premiered its global tour at the National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan in May 2017 under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah. It was then showcased on London’s Trafalgar Square at the historic St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and then in the US at the American University Museum in Washington, D.C., followed by at The Center for the Arts in Jackson, WY and Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, OH.
As the world’s attention is focused anew on respecting women’s rights, and while there is an increasing need for developing understanding and encouraging friendship between the peoples of the Middle East and West, I AM is an East-West peacebuilding exhibition that showcases the insights and experiences of Middle Eastern women as they confront issues of culture, religion and social reality in a rapidly changing world both in the Middle East and West.
Designed to address stereotypes and challenge misconceptions of the “other,” the I AM exhibition is a visual celebration of the crucial role that Middle Eastern women play as guardians of peace, celebrating their strengths and rich and diverse contributions in the enduring global quest for a more harmonious and peaceful future.
The I AM exhibition is guest curated by Janet Rady, a specialist in Middle Eastern contemporary art, and features 31 acclaimed women artists of Middle Eastern heritage from 12 countries. The women artists participating in I AM are premier artists of Middle Eastern origin and cover a broad geographic area from 12 countries. Some noted emerging artists have also been selected for participation. Each artist was invited to create one original two or three-dimensional work in any still art medium for this exhibition: painting, drawing, collage, photography, digital art, mixed media and sculpture. Participating artists and their countries are: MARWA ADEL (Egypt), RAWAN Al ADWAN (Jordan), AFSOON (Iran), AHAAD ALAMOUDI (Saudi Arabia), ALIA ALI (Yemen), BOUSHRA ALMUTAWAKEL (Yemen), ZENA ASSI (Lebanon), SHEREEN AUDI (Jordan), MANAL DEEB (Palestine), MAITHA DEMITHAN (UAE), LALLA ESSAYDI (Morocco), MARIAM ALI FAKHRO (Bahrain), TAIBA FARAJ (Bahrain), FATEN GADDES (Tunisia), AZADEH GHOTBI (Iran), NERMINE HAMMAM (Egypt),, HILDA HIARY (Jordan), CARELLE HOMSY (Egypt), LULWA AL-KHALIFA (Bahrain), MARWA AL KHALIFA (Bahrain), NABEELA AL KHAYER (Bahrain), GHADA KHUNJI (Bahrain), ANNIE KURKDJIAN (Lebanon), HANAA MALALLAH (Iraq), RANIA MATAR (Lebanon), RAEDA SAADEH (Palestine), NAGLA SAMIR (Egypt), SOHEILA SOKHANVARI (Iran), MAYASA AL SOWAIDI (Bahrain), WIJDAN (Jordan), and HELEN ZUGHAIB (Lebanon).
CARAVAN, which originated out of Cairo, Egypt, is an international peacebuilding arts non-profit that focuses on building bridges through the arts between the creeds and cultures of the Middle East and West. CARAVAN’s experience has shown that the arts can serve as one of the most effective mediums to enhance understanding, bring about respect, enable sharing, and deepen friendship between those of different faiths and cultures. Past CARAVAN exhibitions have resulted in unprecedented gatherings of renowned Middle Eastern and Western artists who use art for intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and have garnered attention from the international press, media and art world, attracting thousands of visitors. For more information on CARAVAN, see: www.oncaravan.org
An official opening program and reception will be held at 5:00pm on June 10, 2018 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral that is open to the public. A special guest speaking at the opening will be Alia Ali, the acclaimed contemporary artist from Yemen, participating in the I AM exhibition.