Sep 05, 2007
The Chaldean Educational Center of America, in collaboration with the Michigan
Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs (MCACA), and Mesopotamia Art History &
Beyond (Learning Studio & Art Gallery), presents a selection of 30 artworks by
pioneer, established, and emerging contemporary Chaldean artists living in
Southeastern Michigan and countries around the world. Subjects common to
Chaldean artworks include landscape, traditional scenes of popular life, love,
family, war, exile, and politically or socially motivated themes. In exploring
their unique identity, Chaldean artists often include visual references to their
Mesopotamian heritage, such as ancient pictographic symbols and cuneiforms or
architecture, incorporate Chaldean or Arabic writing, or use Christian imagery.
The exhibit is particularly important because it
includes works by the important pioneer artists Issa Hanna [Dabish] and
Khuder Jirjees. Issa Hanna was a founding member of the first officially
recognized artist organization "Friends of Art Society" in Baghdad in
1941. Approximately twenty art works by Issa Hanna were housed in the
modern art component of the Baghdad Museum, before the museum was looted
in 2003. Khuder Jirjees one of the founders of the 60’s art group Adam
& Eve taught courses on color at the College of Fine Arts in Baghdad for
several years. In his works, he often used a palette knife to create
broad landscapes of color. In the early 90’s, he began to slowly lose
his eyesight due to inadequate medical care caused by the sanctions. But
he continued to paint, declaring that he could feel color and recognize
the harmony of colors by touch.
other participating artists include:
Mazin Elia Al Shaawi,
Qais Issa Al Sindy,
and Amer Hanna Fatuhi
These artists have earned recognition for their artworks and their great
contributions to their respective fields.
artists have faced many challenges, such as discrimination, opposition to free
expression, war, and displacement to new countries. At the same time, they
demonstrate a complete commitment to art. Their works express a sadness common
to contemporary Iraqis, but also the resilience of the Iraqi spirit. This
exhibit is particularly relevant considering current events. This is a critical
time to present the art of the native Iraqis and acknowledge a shared humanity
across all cultures.
Ammori, Art Exhibit Organizer
* To learn more about MONA
of New Art
and its director Jef Bourgeau, kindly visit MONA at:
is located at:
7 N. Saginaw St.
Pontiac, MI 48342
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday 12:00 N-5:00 PM
We would like to
express our special thanks to the Michigan Council For Arts & Cultural
Affairs (MCACA) for their generous grant. This Exhibition is also made
possible through the gracious support of Iraqi Artists Association (IAA),
Dr. Emad Nakkash, and Dr. David Ayoub.
This exhibition gives an idea about the continuous creativity of the
Chaldeans. We hope that others will emulate the generous support we received
from MCACA, our business and individual sponsors, and important museums such
as MONA, so that we may hold a group exhibition by a larger number of
contemporary Iraqi Chaldean artists in the future.
Amer Hanna Fatuhi, Art Exhibition Supervisor