“Our aim is that our people, who admire stars, will dare to look up and dream, to believe in goals to strive for, and develop a new sense of hope, community, beauty and faith.” – Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, President and CEO, Bright Stars of Bethlehem
Artists from the United States and abroad create work in all media exploring the concept of artists’ responses to various forms of censorship or political pressure specific to artistic production. The show takes its name from a 1980 Israeli law forbidding artwork of “political significance,” which banned art composed of the four colors of the Palestinian flag: red, green, white, and black. Palestinians were arrested for creating or displaying such artwork. The ban was lifted after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.
“Growing up in a garden of flowers … literally, as a child I was fascinated, taken by its diversity in shape and color, and feasted my eyes and never ignored…. As a photographer I always carried my camera with me and always on the lookout for flowers. No matter what assignments I had I always noticed the flower everywhere.
Calligraphy is more than beautiful Arabic handwriting. It is the imaginative expression of individual creativity, the area of aesthetics where skill meets genius. Primarily a means for worshipping the Creator, the Arabic language is organically linked to the Qur’an. Thus both words and the forms of words take on power greater than their individual entities. It is from this that ornamental calligraphy stems.
The symbol known as the Hamsa, or Hand of Fatima, in Arab and Middle Eastern culture, is also a potent symbol in cultures around the world, from Asia, Africa, Latin America and even to the tribal cultures of Native Americans. This exhibition will explore the origins, symbolism and interpretations of this potent design with objects from all these cultures, with examples and an audience-interactive lecture.
This multimedia installation explores the history of one American family’s 166-year engagement with the Middle East, using mixed media collages, super-8 video and archival material to tell the story of a rich and evolving relationship between America and the Arab world.
Artist Doris Bittar’s latest works explore layers and patterning, whether through her Conversations with Modernism, paintings in which she examines “how a student of art who is also a colonial subject converses with the more recent Masters” or Walking Patterns, 3-dimensional assemblages of remnants collected on walks in the Middle East and California, overlaid with invented, faintly arabesque lattice patterning.
Home Away From Home is a multi-media project juxtaposing recorded oral histories (in English) with portraits from the San Francisco Bay Area Palestinian community, second largest in the U.S. The viewer will be able to hear the voice while looking into the (photographed) face of the person telling their story.