January 2011

Happy New Year! Looking back, 2010 was a year of expansion for the Gallery. We increased our virtual presence with an expanded web page, featuring virtual tours, artist videos and a Curator’s Comment. We began and ended the year with two photographic exhibitions that touched the hearts of Palestinians— starting with vibrant contemporary images of daily life in Palestine that covered every inch of our walls, and ending with rare silver print photographs of life in Palestine in the 1930’s. In between, we exhibited artists from around the United States. 

Our January-February show of Elena Farsakh’s photographs, Palestine, Meanwhile, got the most press coverage of any show to date. 

In March-April we exhibited the nationally known artist Adnan Charara, whose work is featured at the Arab American National Museum in Detroit. Charara’s paintings, sculptures and collages drew a record crowd of over 100 people. His show, Hueman, was opened by a jazz concert by Arab-American singer Lena Seikaly, who has performed at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center and internationally. 

April-May featured a lecture and exhibition of paintings by author, activist and artist Ellen O’ Grady.  What Ham Saw: Drawings From Palestine, were moving watercolors based on interviews with a poet, teacher, peacemaker, soldier, all of whom had a creative response to their intense desire to see an end to occupation. 

Born Among Mirrors: Lebanon 50 Years After in May-June featured the photography of Najib Joe Hakim, whose award-winning images detail his return to Beirut 50 years after the Palestinian Hakim family fled as refugees. He chronicles the determination of the Lebanese to rebuild and survive after numerous invasions, civil war and occupation. The San Francisco-based Hakim brought a large Lebanese-American audience to the Gallery. 

In July-September, the Gallery transformed into a surreal village of giant floating heads, as Chicago artist Anna Kipervaser brought sculptural paintings, titled The Light Thread, The Dark Thread, creating visually compelling images that hope to challenge preconceived notions about the Middle East and its people. 

Memories Revisited, in October-November introduced famed Iraqi painter Ahmed AlKarkihi to an American audience.  

And in December, The Eye Behind the Camera, brought tears to the eyes of gallery goers as they gazed upon scenes of Jerusalem and Palestine from the 1930’s, in our best selling show ever. 

To close out the year, we held magnificent exhibition of Kashmir Shawls to accompany the always lively annual Souk and Olive Harvest Festival, attended this year by over 300 people. 

2011 will start out colorfully with a bright exhibit of paintings by Zohra Ben Hamida. Here’s looking ahead to many great exhibitions to come!