A Unique Glimpse at the Underexposed: "Artists for Peace"

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Join us at UC Berkeley's Center for Middle Eastern Studies in a rare opportunity to see contemporary Libyan paintings and work by other artists from around the world. In honor of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, artists explore the theme of peace through anexciting variety of mediums.

Benefit Reception: December 9, 4-7pm
Open to the public: December 10, 16, 17, 1-5pm (or by appointment) Worth Ryder Art Gallery
116 Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley
Contact: 510-642-8208; cmes(at)berkeley(dot)edu
Website: cmes.berkeley.edu/stevensprogram
For tickets: artistsforpeace.eventbrite.com

“Artists for Peace,” an exhibit of over 50 artists from around the world who have come together to critically reflect on the concept of peace, will open on December 9, 2017 at the University of California, Berkeley’s Worth Ryder Art Gallery.

Using a wide array of artistic mediums, many of the works express personal experiences of the artists in specific settings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The exhibition’s emphasis on Libyan artists offers a rare opportunity to showcase and celebrate Libyan art, long restricted and underexposed.

Artists for Peace is a collaboration between the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley and the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis to support the Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Program for Middle Eastern Studies. Named in honor and memory of Cal alumnus Ambassador Chris Stevens, this recently-inaugurated program supports research and travel to the region by graduate and undergraduate students who demonstrate a high level of distinction, as well as an innovative series of virtual exchanges that creates opportunities for Berkeley students to interact with a diverse group of peers at institutions in MENA.

The December 9 opening reception will feature live music, Middle Eastern food, and a first look at the exhibit, with an opportunity to meet exhibiting artists. All net proceeds from ticket sales, as well as a portion of art sales, will support UC Berkeley students’ travel to the Middle East and North Africa for language training and engaged scholarship. The remaining proceeds from the art sales will support the exhibiting artists.

The exhibit will feature art by Najla Shawkat Fitouri (Libya), Mohammed Bin Lamin (Libya), Abd Assamad Mishri (Libya), Musbah Kabeer (Libya), Yousef Fetis (Libya), Mohamed Al Badri (Libya), Jamal Shiref (Libya), Venus Sanghvi (India), Ilaria Rosseli Del Turco (Italy), José Luis Ceña Ruiz (Spain), Irene Cuadrado Hernandez (Spain), James Bland (England), Dingo Babusch (Germany), Agnieszka Nienartowicz (Poland), Sofia Sattar (California), Rene Martucci (California), Nuala Creed (California), Bar Shacterman-Israel (California), Mohammad Kheirkhah (California), Mark Abildgaard (California), Frank Damiano (California), Ayesha Samdani (California), Davis Parker (California), Melissa Chandon (California), Lisa Reinertson (California), Arthur Gonzalez (California), Jennifer Brazelton (California), Kelly Detweiler (California), Boyd Gavin (California), Pat Mahony (California), and Kerry Rowland-Avrech (Washington).

The exhibit is curated and sponsored by John Natsoulas, Chris Stevens’ childhood friend. Natsoulas, who began working on the world-class exhibit after Stevens’ tragic death in Libya in 2012, created the exhibit as a celebration of his friend’s essence. “Chris’s legacy exemplifies the importance of intercultural communication and acceptance. Chris took it upon himself to go beyond the walls of the embassy to experience firsthand the concerns and opinions of the people. Remembering Chris Stevens means working with people and accepting and understanding their diverse cultures. The multiple interpretations on this theme [peace] work brilliantly in conjunction to reaffirm our common humanity and the universal pursuit of tranquility and unity.”

The exhibit is hosted by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, which promotes the interdisciplinary study of the region at UC Berkeley and beyond, and seeks to inspire a new generation of committed public servants, engaged scholars, and compassionate individuals in the United States and in the Middle East.

Artists for Peace formally launches with the December 9 benefit reception (4-7 pm). Tickets can be purchased at artistsforpeace.eventbrite.com. The exhibit will be on view, free and open to the public, on December 10, 16, and 17 (1-5 pm), or by appointment (cmes(at)berkeley(dot)edu).

Contact Information:
Julia Choucair-Vizoso

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Julia Choucair-Vizoso
The Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Exhibit
since: 02/2013
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