EXHIBITION DETAILS

The exhibition opened with a reception ceremony on December 3, 2017, 1 - 4 p.m. at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC) at 1433 Madison St., Oakland 94612 and ran to February 24, 2018.

Read about the Curatorial Panel HERE. Read about the background of this exhibition HERE. To view the 2017 Call to Artists and Exhibition Conditions and Timeline CLICK HERE.
ARTISTS AND COLLABORATIVE ART PROJECTS
Projects on this Online Gallery are arranged on alphabetical order based on the first name of the coordinating artist 
Artist Group 1: A - D

.. Aimee Golant and Nabeela Sajjad
.. Arash Shirinbab, Beth Schaible, Rachel Stone, Susan Duhan Felix, and Forrest Lesch-Middelton
.. Bill Carmel and participants at collaborative interfaith events
.. Carol Dorf and Terri Saul
.. Cindy Sojourner and Shamsa Rafay
.. Davi Barker and Ameena Faruki
.. Dove Govrin and Nabeela Raza Sajjad
Artist Group 2: E - L

.. Elizheva Hurvich and Susan Duhan Felix
.. Farzaneh Farid Moayer and Students of Andeesheh School
.. Fariba Gharai, Ali Izadi, Barry Shapiro, and Rachel Stone
.. Jan Steckel, Dvora Gordon, and Hew Wolff
.. Julie Cohn and Irys Schenker
.. Lauren Marie Taylor and Keyvan Shovir  
.. Lea Delson and Alex Madonik
.. Leah Korican and Lenore Weiss
Artist Group 3: N - R

.. Negar Dadgari, Naseem Alavi, Golzar Hemmati, Golzar Arvin, Sanaz Mansourian, Avazeh Pourhamzeh, Seyed Alavi, Omid Rhezaii, Omid Yazdanshenas, Omid Yousef, Sepehr Imani, Janos Botyanszki, Bobbek Hakimzadeh, and Patrizio Pellouchoud
.. Peter Bishop and Joe Kowalczyk
.. Rachel Michaelsen, Jun Hamamoto, and Geri Handa
.. Raeshma Razvi, Sabiha Basrai, and students from Oakland Int'l High School
.. Robin Bernstein and students of The Renaissance International School
Artist Group 4: S - Z

.. S. Newman and Jampa Thinlay
.. Sara Frucht and Bhavna Misra
.. Sharon Siskin and Salma Arastu
.. Takako Matoba and Li Westerlund
.. Tobie Lurie, Denah S. Bookstein, and Chynara Tolubaeva
.. Tom Debley and Ilana Bar-David  
.. Zoe Mosko, Jeanne Jullion, and Mojgan Saberi

ABSOLUTE LOVE

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NEGAR DADGARI, AVAZESH POURHAMZEH, BOBBEK HAKIMZADEH, GOLZAR ARVIN, NASEEM ALAVI, PATRIZIO PELLOUCHOUD, SANAZ MANSOURIAN, SEPEHR IMANI
Wood, Batik painting on cotton
October- November 2017
96" H x 75" W x 75" D

Statement

This work is a call for Hope. Within the theme of “Collaboration and Connection” and interfaith is our hope: 

Unity. How do we rationalize fighting amongst our self/ selves when we come from the same source? That same spring, fountainhead works continuously every second we breathe and with every heartbeat….

Let us not ignore each other’s commonality in this fact. A spiritual path is for discovering and connecting to this source, not inheriting prejudices and ideas that prevent unity and cooperation.  We hope to recognize the Absolute Love that is our true inheritance.  Our interest and effort should include and support dignity and respect to all humanity and all bodies of Knowledge,  particularly ones which share so many teachings.  With practice we can release and transform the energy that keeps us from celebrating our special uniqueness and our spiritual progress.

This work is also inspired by the law of conservation, where everything is energy, and energy can never be destroyed, it only changes form.

Artists' Biography

Avazeh Pourhamzeh born in Mountain View, CA. January 13, 1996. She is a student at UC Berkeley and studies Political Science and Public Policy.

Bobbek Hakimzadeh, born in Oakland, CA. February 15, 1984. He studied Hospitality Recreation at San Jose State University and currently works for Samsung Software Development.

Golzar Arvin, born in San Francisco, CA. September 18, 1991. She is a student at UC Berkeley and studies Sociology.

Naseem Alavi, born in Oakland, CA. March 20, 2001. She is a Junior at the Oakland School for the Arts studying creative writing.   

Negar Dadgari,  born in Tehran, Iran on July 8, 1984.  She studied Architecture at UC Berkeley.  Currently she works for Diablo Valley College.

Patrizio Pellouchoud, born in Tokyo, Japan on October 12, 1970. He studied Art at UC Santa Cruz and currently works in Early Childhood Education.

Sanaz Mansourian, born in San Jose, CA. March 26,1980. She studied Biotechnology at Cal Poly Pomona and Nursing at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland.  She is currently a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Sepehr Imani, born in Tehran, Iran on October 12, 1981. He studied Engineering and currently works for NASA.

REBIRTH

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PETER BISHOP & JOE KOWALCZYK
Porcelain, Wood & Stone
2017
5’6”H x 1’1”W x 1’1”D

Statement

The inevitability of death is an equalizing component of life that no living being can escape and unifies us all.  Across all time, every culture and religion has created ways to respect our loved ones at the time of their death and it is the inherent responsibility of the living to care for the deceased's bodies. It is through these collaborative acts of thoughtfully performed rituals we retain our lasting connections to our loved ones when they pass.

In this work, both the material and imagery are important to our ideas; they directly link the cycle of life from beginning to end and its connection to Earth.  Stone represents the earth that is the foundation for all life, burned wood represents death as well as nourishment for a fresh beginning, the forest imagery represents life in its vigor, and the vessel represents our respect of the cycle that exists. 

Though we realize not every culture cremates their deceased; our goal with this work is to foster conversation and contemplation about life and death with objects that are not only beautiful and intriguing but also have the specific utilitarian purpose of transporting the remains of loved ones.

Artists' Biography

Peter Bishop:
I was born in 1979 just outside of Seattle where I grew up playing and working in the wilderness. It was there I gained my love of wood, water, mud and fire all of which remain an influence on my work. In 2003 I received a BFA in Ceramics from the University of Washington; that same year I moved to Oakland California where I am still living and working today.

Joseph Kowalczyk is an award winning sculptor and painter who has been contributing to the arts community in the California Bay Area since receiving a BFA in ceramics from California College of the Arts in 2006.  Along with his own studio practice, Joe works as a ceramics instructor at Creative Growth Art Center, manages his own kiln repair business and also is a co-founder/co-director of FM Oakland, a community of artist studios within the Oakland Art Murmur district.

PEACE UNFOLDING

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RACHEL MICHAELSEN, JUN HAMAMOTO, GERI HANDA
Origami paper, paper doilies, handmade paper, string, beads, alpaca yarn, metal
November 2017
80 H" x 25" W x 25" D
NFS

Statement

Peace Unfolding emphasizes our commitment to world peace through action and intent (prayer). Using symbols from Buddhism and Judaism, we found matching symbols – tactile items (Buddhist prayer beads and Jewish tzitzit), birds of peace (peace crane and dove) and symbols of our respective faith (Star of David, Lotus Flower).

They hang together in this mobile: images of integration and shared appreciation. The process of working together brought to light some of our cultural differences. Rachel had a sense that we should each complete one third of each element, whereas Geri suggested we should work on the elements with which we felt comfortable. Rachel also had the idea that each element should have our individual stamp on it. Both Jun and Geri expressed a desire for uniformity throughout the elements.

We laughed at the difference between Rachel’s individualistic, Western approach and Jun and Geri’s collectivist, Eastern approach. In the end, we each made a tzitzit, using a prayer we created (“for the sake of peace for all sentient beings”) when we tied the knots, and we split the tasks of making the other elements, based on our skill sets and levels of enjoyment.

Artists' Biography

Jun Hamamoto’s commitment to social justice is evidenced by her volunteer work with the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Mindfulness Peacebuilding and at San Quentin Prison, where she teaches origami and is one of the coordinators of the Day of Peace. She also teaches Dharma School at the Buddhist Church of Oakland. Her artistic expression involves origami, fiberarts, and bead work.

Geri Handa integrates healing work with a focus on individual and world peace, and is very much influenced by Buddhist philosophy and her Buddhist upbringing. Geri is one of the founding members of a support group for atomic bomb survivors (Hibakusha) residing in the United States. Her creative expression includes origami and fiber arts.

Rachel Michaelsen spends much of her life engaged in energy healing work in her clinical social work practice and as the Chair of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology’s Humanitarian Committee. Her creative expression involves fiber arts, bead work, gardening and photography. She is committed to working for peace, and has a strong Jewish cultural and spiritual identity. 

HERE/THERE

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RAESHMA RAZVI and new immigrant students at Oakland International High School: Van Bui, Khanh Dong, Nyan Lin Htet, Wen Luan Huang, Lar Kpaw, Hser Gay Ku, Zi Ying Li, HaiQi Lin, Qianru Luo, Hae Ler Moo, Bee Ohtoo, Lee Sang, Blue Doe Soe, Nguyen Truong, Merhawi Beyene, Serever Htoo and Karida Li.
Multimedia
September to November 2017

Statement

HERE/THERE stems from a new after-school media-making class at Oakland International High School. In an early exercise I place a line of tape on the ground, making a border, with one side denoting ‘here’ (the US, Oakland), and the other side ‘there’ (students’ former countries, cultures).

I ask students to stand on one side or the other in response to certain questions, like where they feel/felt safety, love, friendship etc. Students then take photos/portraits with such lines or borders in mind, finding them in the environment or creating them themselves. 

I later selected student photos and added text from a variety of sources including spiritual poetry (from some of the student’s cultures), current events, and student discussions.  Creative collaboration and forming community go hand in hand, the camera and our curiosity and compassion allowing us to deeper see and know each other.

HERE/THERE was created after only 3 sessions working together, and is an evolving work in progress as our group continues to meet over the course of a school year.

Artists' Biography

Raeshma Razvi (ICCNC IC3 Program Director) is both a working media artist and a community specialist, with over fifteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector. As head of Silkworm Studio, she facilitates transformative community arts projects with various partners. She has received fellowships and grants from the Open Society Institute, Rockefeller Foundation, Creative Work Fund, and others for her projects. Together Razvi and Hoover received a grant for a $140,000 project from the US Dept of State's Education and Cultural Affairs program to launch Flag Stories: Citizenship Unbound a 40-week digital storytelling, video and art exchange between Muslims in the Bay Area and Malaysia.

WISHES FOR THE WORLD

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ROBIN BERNSTEIN AND THE RENAISSANCE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
September - November 2017
Mixed Media Sculpture
Approx. 36”h x 46”w x 46”d

Statement

The 64 Elementary and Junior High students at The Renaissance International  School in Oakland, CA worked together to make this collaborative sculpture with guidance from their visual art teachers Robin Bernstein and Kati Gyulassy. Creating it brought the students together in conversation and action in response to the prompt to create a work that “promotes interfaith understanding, coexistence, peace and cultural dialogue”.

The Renaissance International School is a tri-lingual Montessori program and multi-cultural community representing people of differing faiths (and no faith), from countries around the world, who practice active conflict resolution and mindfulness. We also have an extensive choral and Kodaly music program and each student is presented with an in depth visual arts curriculum. Expression and creation are everyday practices.

The “tissue paper flower-wishes” that surround the three children (who hold the earth aloft in their hands) are the actual hopes and beliefs made by hundreds of people with the future in mind.  The wishes are wide ranging and many are for repairing harm done, for all people and their needs, for the environment, for industry, for animals, for peace and enlightenment, and more.

Participation and an invitation to collaborate in this project were presented to the community at large at ‘Oaktoberfest’ and at ‘Art Against the Muslim Ban’ in Oakland. Many people of all ages from widely varied backgrounds and cultures made flowers and wishes in support of a world in balance. Thus, this sculptural collaboration expanded past the boundaries of The Renaissance International School and into the world.

Please feel free to collaborate and connect with us by making a tissue paper flower in the side room of the gallery in order to add your wish for the future of the world!

Artist's Biography

Robin Bernstein was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and holds a BA from Macalester College and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from The San Francisco Art Institute. She has taught art to adults and children for over 25 years in many different settings. She joined The Renaissance International School as the lead visual art faculty for Elementary and Junior High in 2005. Robin is also a professional working artist. Robin’s passion as an arts educator includes a high level of commitment in bringing visual literacy to everyone she teaches.

Robin’s goal at TRIS is that each student who completes the visual arts program will possess practical experience, intellectual understanding, and appreciation for visual art, art history, the art traditions of many cultures, crafts and handwork, as well as self-expression.

Kati Gyulassy is the visual art assistant in Elementary and Junior High art at TRIS. She grew up in Oakland, New York, and Europe. Kati received her MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, focusing on children's book illustration and has a book series published by Harper Collins.

This collaborative sculpture was made under the guidance of Robin Bernstein and Kati Gyulassy but the artists are the 64 Elementary and Junior High students of The Renaissance International School. They range in age from 6 – 14. The students have wide ranging interests, experiences and ability, and their families hail from faraway places around the globe and just around the corner.
They are: Amelie Tan, Amman Sills, Dylan Blout, Elodie Collins, Fallon Grey O’Neal Loos, Harper Wood-Soloff, Ilori Hites-Pontes, Inga Johnson, Jackson Markatos, Kaelan HicksWard, Kamara Dewey, Loenn Hevin, Madeleine Apps, Mateo Laniecki, Shea Sano, Sofia Rayani, Taylor Bledsoe, Zafirah Hites-Pontes, Alex Kerley, Arthur Chavarria-Zavala, Ashton Riley, Astrid Masquelier, Bryce Spears, David Mabrie, Dezi Sano, Elise Tan, Keanna Koehler, Micah Long, Naomi Pawek, Oisin Harvey, Simone Santo, Wesley Barone, Zach Flowers, Adam Long, Ainsley Johnson, Andrew and August Kerley, Belle Reader, Diego Padilla, Ella Franzese, Gabe Reader, Gavriel Harvey, Grace Higgins, Isabel Klivansky, Kalil Hites-Pontes, Kian Jamali, Lucia Laniecki, Lucia Patterson, Marcell Peto, Marco Weikum, Mirabelle Lindsey, Nadia Brunello, Olivia Barness, Olivia Friedrichs, Parker Bledsoe, Alexander Gee, Diego Weikum, Gabriella Guimarey-Ferreira, Julian Retana, Lena Levaux, Molly Friedrichs, Nyla Padilla, and Shirin Jamali.