From the Atlantic to the Gulf
“From the Atlantic to the Gulf” is an exhibit that highlights the unity of those from the Middle East and underscores their contributions from the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast of Africa to the Arabian Gulf. The artist reception is May 3, from 5-9pm.
The concept is broad and touches on several thoughts. This vast region indicates the many places that Middle Easterners have migrated to and shared their culture, from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf. The image promotes one of Arab unity and symbolizes the Pan Arab Nationalist movement. For Kanaan, the phrase also poses the questions of what the price is of this exchange in terms of oil shipped around the world from the Middle East, the cost to humanity as a whole because of it, the resulting environmental impact, the result of seeking cheaper resources, war and its devastation, and much more.
For the first time possibly anywhere, Styrofoam will be used as part of the exhibit but in a new format. Kanaan has melted Styrofoam, a petroleum-based product, and then used it as a new medium by which to “glaze” his art. The use of Styrofoam, albeit as a new compound, underscores how two worlds are brought together through petroleum and the many shapes and forms that partnership can take. Styrofoam also elicits thoughts of recycling, reuse (in its new format), waste in our lives as a symbol of consumption; and how despite thousands of miles between the Atlantic and the Arabian Gulf, people are very much the same with similar interests and needs.
Director’s Blog: Sharing a Vision
Last week, I attended an event at the Rusty Grape, a winery in Battle Ground, WA. The purpose of the shindig was to introduce new people to the Arts of Clark County, a non-profit with the single purpose of promoting the arts in our community. Also, information was being shared about its upcoming Open Studios event in November. The place was hopping.
Arriving a little late I was greeted warmly by other members, and told I’d been voted in as a board member. Happy I was to be included in this group because its members share a vision. Each person in the A of CC wants to help our arts community to thrive.
An observation: there are places and times when a confluence of forces brings together like-minded people who work to make great things happen. The evolution of the human experience has come from symbiotic moments in consciousness. There is no way to force these moments- no manipulation can create them. It happens organically or not at all.
There is a feeling in Vancouver and Clark County in the arts community- a quickening. Many people have been working here for decades to establish and grow an arts scene, and their work is gaining traction with the help of people coming in with a shared vision. The more time we spend together, the stronger these connections become.
The time for artists in Clark County to find their people and place is now. There are several fine galleries Downtown to become involved with, and more than a few great events to participate in, like Open Studios and Art in the Heart. The truly exceptional quality of our arts scene is an openness, a lack of exclusivity, and this encourages emerging artists to show and grow.
In Vancouver and Clark County, there is a shared vision of a large, healthy, and inclusive arts scene. To all artists, patrons, and art groupies in Southwest Washington: welcome!
Check out the Arts of Clark County website: http://www.artsofclarkcounty.org/.