September 18, 2009

Visual artists Doris Bittar, Joyce Dallal, John Halaka, Wade Harb, Adeeb Makki, Al Nashashibi, and George Wahab will show their work in an art show called Wishes/Umniat during the run of 9 Parts of Desire in the Lobby of The 10th Avenue Theatre (930 10th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101).

Umniat is the Arabic word for “wishes” or “desires.” It is the umnia (wish) of this multi-ethnic, multi-religious group of artists who each come from Middle Eastern backgrounds to lay the groundwork for renewed efforts in peace through their art.

More information about the artists follows:

Doris Bittar was born in Baghdad, Iraq of Lebanese and heritage.  Bittar’s work explores the themes of identity and the bonds and chasms between East and West. She often ties the larger political and historical legacies to the narratives of ordinary people.  Bittar has shown nationally and internationally, and will participate in the upcoming Alexandria Biennial in Egypt.  Her paintings are in private and public collections in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.  She teaches painting, drawing and design, and writes reviews and essays on Middle Eastern art. Phone: 619 283-4647, email: dbittar@ucsd.edu, web site: www.dorisbittar.com

Joyce Dallal’s art making is in the realms of multi-media and public art.  Dallal’s themes explore collective and personal history, community, memory, and the evolution of contemporary cultural identity. Her parents are Jews who immigrated to the United States from Baghdad, Iraq and she was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. The struggle to reconcile her Jewish, Iraqi, and American identities has been major impetus in her art making.  She has exhibited nationally and internationally and is the recipient of several awards, among them a National Endowment for the Arts Regional Arts Fellowship in Photography, a City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Grant, and a Brody Arts Fellowship.  Dallal is a professor at El Camino College in Southern California. Phone: 310-415-0064, email: JDallal@elcamino.edu, web site: www.joycedallal.com 

The reoccurring concerns that have informed John Halaka’s work over the past two decades are: the frailty and resiliency of the human condition; the impermanence of the corporeal; the uncertainty of knowledge; cycles of repression and displacement; and a search for self-realization. Halaka is a Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of San Diego, where he has taught since 1991.  He received his MFA in the Visual Arts from the University of Houston in 1983. In 1979, Halaka received his B.A. in Fine Arts from the City University of New York Baccalaureate Program, with Brooklyn College as home school. John Halaka has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions both locally and nationally. John Halaka is of Palestinian descent and was born in El Mansoura, Egypt, in 1957. Phone: 619/291-8426, email: jhalaka@sandiego.edu.  web site: www.johnhalaka.com  

Wade Harb has been working and experimenting with oil, plaster, wood, metal and charcoal to create visceral and tactile paintings, drawings and sculpture. The topographical-like patterns and traces in his art map a kind of ancient terrain that transports us to another time and space. The organic appearance of his work is inspired by earthly colors and textures that appear almost fossilized in their intricate folds and details. His work is in many private collections and he has shown throughout the United States. Harb was born in Ramallah, Palestine in 1958. He received a degree in Economics from the University of California, San Diego. Phone: 858 243-4640, email: wadeharb@yahoo.com, web site: www.wadeharb.com


Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1951, Adeeb Makki’s lucid and rhythmic colors reflect a fluidly that evokes Western modernity and an Eastern tradition. Adeeb’s art has faces the most difficult human condition that his native Iraq has been undergoing.  He is continually searching for expressive materials and textures.  This past decade he has embarked on the use of discarded materials to create his abstract themes. He freely indulges with all sorts of media, from textiles and papers to oxidized metals. Adeeb Makki began his artistic career in Iraq and continued it in Jordan before immigrating to the United States.  He has shown extensively in the Middle East and the United States. Phone: 619 582-0641, email: adeebmakki@yahoo.com, web site: www.adeebmaki.com


The appealing quality of Ibrahim Al Nashashibi’s art lies in its universality. The themes of his paintings reflect the creative world and imagination within his soul. His paintings speak of the passions of life, human relationships and the depictions of life in his beloved Jerusalem portrayed as the City of Love and as the Mother of Humanity. Al Nashashibi was born in the old city of Jerusalem in 1950. He graduated from Beirut University Law School in 1972 and practiced law for 15 years in Kuwait and Dubai. In 1988 he decided to become a full time painter. Phone: 619.225.0308, email: alnashashibi@gmail.com, gallery: 3166 Midway Drive, San Diego, CA 92110

Having completed a fulfilling career in Medicine, George Wahab has realized a lifelong dream of becoming a full time artist. His art experience and education has been a lifelong process from Canada to San Diego. Wahab has exhibited throughout the United States and won many awards.  He assumed a leadership position in major art organizations including; President of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Museum of Art Artist’s Guild, A Trustee of the San Diego Museum of Art, President of the San Diego Portrait Society, Treasurer of the La Jolla Art Association and President of the Market Street Group. Phone: 858 457-0119, email: pasteldoc@thewahabs.com, web site: www.pasteldoc.com


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