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We planned and led four public programs in the course of the 2015 exhibition and in relation to the theme and goals of it. These programs included a Traditional Persian Calligraphy Workshop, a Workshop on Art and Design of Islamic Geometric Patterns, an Interactive Art Making Piece, and Artists' Meet and Greet with  Artists' Tour.
 
 
Traditional Persian Calligraphy Workshop
With Mr. Navid Bazargan
May 1 and 2, 2015
 
The workshop began with an illustrated presentation on the history, principles, fundamentals, and tools for the Persian calligraphy by Arash Shirinbab, a local calligrapher. It then followed up by instructions on alphabets and words in Nastaliq style of calligraphy by Mr. Bazargan. And it continued with hands-on practices on the first and second day.
 
On the first day, participants worked on writing some letters and sentences in Persian calligraphy. On second day they continued with sentences and created some beautiful compositions with the guidelines of Mr. Bazargan.
 
About the Instructor: Mohammad Navid Bazargan was born in 1963 in Tehran. He is an assistant professor of Persian Literature and writer of Encyclopedia of Persian Language and Literature in Iran. In addition to his academic career he has always been interested in painting and calligraphy. He has spent many years painting with different media and held several painting exhibitions in Iran and other countries. Simultaneously, he applied for the Iranian Association of Calligraphers from 1987 and after 5 years was granted the degree of “Outstanding Calligrapher”.
"Art and Design: Islamic Geometric Patterns"
With Carol Bier
May 16, 2015
 
After a brief illustrated introduction to Islamic ornament in ceramic tile, carved woodwork, and illuminated manuscripts, Ms. Bier described the basic principles that underly geometric patterns in Islamic art through hands-on activities. Using paper-folding and coloring exercises participants learned to visualize circles and centers and the intersecting axes of grids that allow for the repetition of designs to create a pattern. They came to understand the organization of historical designs and find your own forms of expression through the use of color and symmetry.
 
About the Instructor: Carol Bier is Visiting Scholar with the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley CA. From 1984 to 2001 she served as Curator for Eastern Hemisphere Collections at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC, and has been Research Associate there since 2001. She is author of The Persian Velvets at Rosenborg, published in Copenhagen in 1995, and contributing author/editor of Woven from the Soul, Spun from the Heart: Textile Arts of Safavid and Qajar Iran, published by The Textile Museum in 1986. For many years she was editor of The Textile Museum Journal and is a past President of the Textile Society of America.
Interactive and Collaborative Art Making
With Leah Korican
May 2 - 31, 2015
 
Artist and member of Kehilla Leah Korican led an interactive art project for all ages in which outlines of hand images were filled in with words related to peace by participants. Visitors to the exhibition have been adding to this piece during the course of the exhibition.
 
About the Artist: Leah Korican lives and works in Oakland, CA. She received her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and her M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited at The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, The Triton Museum in Santa Clara, The San Francisco Art Commission, and the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek.
 
Her work has been written about in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Walnut Creek Journal. Her poetry has been published in "Her Words" anthology Shambhala, and West Wind Writers and Artists Anthology. She teaches art at Bentley School in Oakland.
Artists' Meet and Greet Event and Artists' Tours 
May 31, 2015
 
We had over 50 people attending this event, mostly the artists who participated in the exhibition. Artists had a chance to give a short tour on their artwork and artistic journey.
 
Providing a space and opportunity for the community to get connected to the artists and also for the artists to meet each other, socialize, and understand each others' faiths and cultures had been always one of the goals of the Interfaith Art Exhibition. Our event on May 31, was a good example of how we could gather, have conversation, and get to know each other more. The Curatorial Panel also had a bit of time to talk about the efforts they put to the show and the reasons behind arranging the artworks in a way that artworks in each section would have a conversation with each other through a sub-theme.
 
Here is a comment that one of the artists, Randy Dixon gave: "I wanted to thank you for explaining how you and the exhibition committee had arranged the art.  Your explanation was insightful. You went through a lot of work, and we appreciated it.  Your exhibitions in bringing our three faiths together in understanding is so important in the world and yet it is only a seed.  Hopefully it will grow larger in our community."