Converging Lines: Tracing the Artistic Lineage of the Arab Diaspora in the U.S.
Curated by Maymanah Farhat. On view September 10 - November 17, 2021
Artists belonging to the Arab Diaspora in the United States have contributed to the development of American art since the early twentieth century, yet the story of this artistic community has rarely been considered. Converging Lines: Tracing the Artistic Lineage of the Arab Diaspora in the U.S. seeks to unearth this history by identifying some of the aesthetic threads that connect a diverse, multigenerational group of artists, thus offering a template for future scholarship.
One of the most prominent themes explored by Arab American and U.S based Arab artists over the last seventy-five years has been the process of migration and the state of in-betweenness that often results. Beginning with the work of Kahlil Gibran, a member of the earliest known Arab American creative community, the exhibition explores how artists have used concepts like third spaces, community building, hybridity, and memory formation in works that allude to the complexities of migration, including invisibility, alienation, intergenerational trauma, and changing identities.
Featured artists are Etel Adnan, Sama Alshaibi, Zeina Barakeh, Kamal Boullata, Huguette Caland, Yasmine Nasser Diaz, Dahlia Elsayed, Kahlil Gibran, Sherin Guirguis, Helen Khal, John Halaka, Jackie Milad, Mohammed Omar Khalil, Zeinab Saab, Jacqueline Reem Salloum, Nazar Yahya, and Helen Zughaib.
We are now accepting appointments to visit this exhibition in person starting from September 13.
Photo: Corps bleu (1973), Huguette Caland (courtesy Huguette Caland Estate)
Watch a virtual tour of the new exhibition, “Converging Lines: Tracing the Artistic Lineage of the Arab Diaspora in the U.S.” led by curator Maymanah Farhat.
MEI Art Gallery Open for Timed Visits
The MEI Art Gallery accepts in-person appointments to view its current exhibitions. Hours are Monday to Friday, 10am - 5pm, excluding federal holidays. Please note that occupancy is currently limited to no more than four visitors in the Gallery at a time.
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Photo: "Nightshift 1-6" by Myriam Boulos, 2015 (courtesy of the artist)
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