Contemporary Art by Arab American Artists

“Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.” 
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

Almost a century has passed since Gibran, the Arab American poet, philosopher, and artist, aptly described the function of art as a way of being that transcends the visible to lay bare our common humanity and open up new ways of seeing.   The art works presented in this exhibition explore notions of identity, authenticity, locality and memory within a new order of globalization and politics of power.   In their exploration of contemporary realities, the artists’ work resonates with Gibran’s concerns with love, joy, pain and spirituality.

The voices of these artists from different generations- recent immigrants as well as Americans of Arab heritage- eloquently and powerfully evoke the collective experience of migration and of living between two cultures.   In expressing their concerns and hopes the artists speak for all communities; their work does not represent a singular ethnic aesthetic with fixed cultural borders but rather continue to expand allowing cross-fertilization and transmission of images and ideas.

Sponsored by Bank One • The National Endowment for the Arts • The Rockefeller Foundation • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126 - Phone (313) 582-AANM (2266) A Project of ACCESS