June 15, 2019 – February 29, 2020
Re-Imagining A Future is the opening exhibition at MPP of work by artists Ahmed Hmeedat, Manal Deeb, Mohammad Mussalam, Dalia Elcharbini, and Haya Zaatry — some of whom live in Palestine, and others who are part of the Palestinian diaspora. All of the artists in this exhibition explore a new and as yet un-imagined future for Palestine and Palestinians. They invite members of the Palestinian community worldwide to let their dreams for the future soar — as an act of imaginative courage, and as an act of creative resistance. These works invite Palestinians and others to look into the future.
Ahmed Hmeedat grew up in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. He is a self-taught artist who experiments with a variety of media, including watercolors, acrylic, oil, ink, and charcoal. Hmeedat’s art expresses the plight of the refugees and reminds people that the Nakba is an ongoing reality for Palestinians. Ahmed lives under occupation and restricted movement. He has created murals in the refugee camps in Bethlehem commemorating Palestinian leaders and activists who were killed by Israeli soldiers. These murals give comfort to the victimized families, providing inspiration long after the death of the figures they memorialize.
Dalia Elcharbini is a Palestinian-Canadian contemporary artist based in Canada. She was born in Kuwait and moved with her family to Canada in 2005. She has been exhibiting her work in Canada and the US for the past six years. Dalia describes her style as Surrealist Realism — an attempt to capture life-like subjects that are not necessarily human. Her body of work is recognized for one fixed element, which is her consistent use of gold leaf.
Manal Deeb is a Palestinian-American visual artist who was born in Ramallah, Palestine, and currently resides in the Washington, DC area. Manal’s work focuses on exploring and preserving her Palestinian identity, while at the same time attempting to reach a conscious happiness away from home (in exile).
Manal is a resident artist at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA. She has had solo and group exhibits in cities across the United States and internationally in Palestine, France, Italy, Egypt, England, India, Qatar, Jordan, Pakistan, and Spain. Her artwork has been featured in both print and broadcast media around the world.
Singer-songwriter Haya Zaatry was born and raised in Nazareth, and now lives in Haifa. She is the co-founder of Eljam project, which aims to empower and enhance the Palestinian live music scene. She is also currently a graduate student in architecture. In her songs, Haya explores and challenges the boundaries of social, political and gender issues, especially those confronting Arab women artists. Since early 2016, Haya has been performing and creating music with Kevork Estephanian, while constantly exploring the space where Arabic words, ethnic rhythms, and the sounds of the universe meet.
Mohammad Mussalam is an Assistant Professor at the Fine Arts College of Al-Aqsa University in Gaza. Musallam believes in simple and concise ideas taken and inspired from his daily surroundings. He embraces the idea that “fewer words that carry deep meanings are more effective than long texts and excessive elaboration”. In his art, Musallam focuses on the idea that preserving our humaneness amid the harshness of our environment is one of the most important reasons for our existence.