The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Refugee baggage exhibition opens at Christian Petersen Art Museum
Hafez carefully reconstructs miniature versions of each story and houses the highly detailed recreations within a suitcase. © Mohamad Hafez and Ahmed Badr,

AMES, IA.- University Museums at Iowa State University announces the Christian Petersen Art Museum's fall exhibition UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage which features the contemporary sculpture of Iowa State alumni Mohamad Hafez. The exhibition opened on September 4, 2018 and will run until October 19, 2018 at the Christian Petersen Art Museum, 1017 Morrill Hall, Ames, IA. Admission is free. University Museums will also be bringing Mohamad Hafez to campus for an engaging lecture on his art that is informed by his personal story, along with other programming that will shed light on the refugee experience in America.

UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage
University Museums has an exceptional opportunity to host the exhibition UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage. The uniquely beautiful and delicate creations are the work of Syrian-born artist and architect Mohamad Hafez of New Haven, CT. The stories depicted are gathered and curated by Ahmed Badr, an Iraqi-born university student, writer, activist, and refugee. Through their collaborative storytelling, they hope to humanize the many diverse people who have come to America as refugees. The stories of people forced to flee their homes, their culture, their families and how America became their new home, a place to begin new lives and escape the constant fear or war and death.

Hafez carefully reconstructs miniature versions of each story and houses the highly detailed recreations within a suitcase. Each is embedded with the voices and stories of real people-from Afghanistan, Congo, Syria, Iraq and Sudan-who have escaped those same rooms and buildings to build a new life in America. The suitcase further amplifies the understanding of each participant's refugee status. They had no choice but to leave their homes, often carrying little with them, but their memories survive intact. The memories of the lives they lived in the countries they loved, mingled with the acrid taste of violence that many witnessed and experienced. Badr brings these stories to life through interview and text, using his own experiences as a refugee to sensitively tease out difficult memories and hopes for the future.

"To make such work, to make it look believable and realistic, I have to immerse myself in what's going on back home," said Hafez. "Sometimes I collapse, looking at what I've created." From For Syrian-Born Artist, "Remodeling the Destruction" of Civil War Is Dark, But Hopeful by WNPR, Patrick Skahill.

Mohamad Hafez came to the United States to study architecture at Iowa State University, but with only a single entry visa, he was unable to return to his beloved Syria. With the advent of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, his home was forever changed. Many of his artistic recreations exhibit a sense of nostalgia for what was, the homes and culture these refugees took pride in, but shown in the midst of their destruction. Each story is unique, yet each story tells of a great sense of loss coupled with the courage and force of will it took each refugee to leave their home.

"As an institution that welcomed Mohamad Hafez and allowed him to build a basis for his successful life in this country, it is our honor to present his very important and timely exhibition. Each work of art is a chance for viewers to better empathize and come to understand the struggles of these individuals, to eliminate the stigma, and to truly see the people who carry the stamp of refugee."- Adrienne Gennett, associate curator, University Museums, Iowa State University

This exhibition is curated and organized by Mohamad Hafez with University Museums. The exhibition is supported, in part, by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Generous support for the exhibition and artist lecture was also given by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Committee; Larry and Sue Koehrsen; Sarah Nusser and Michael King; Jonathan Sukup; Julie and Len Rodman; College of Design; Global Resource Systems; the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion; the World Affairs Series and Committee on Lectures, funded by Student Government; International Students and Scholars Office; International Studies Program; Department of World Languages and Cultures; and the Department of English.

All of the works of art in the exhibition were kindly loaned by the artist, Mohamad Hafez.

Today's News

September 6, 2018

Exhibition showcases over 100 objects that challenge the official version of events

Rare Ebsworth collection of modern US masters set for auction

Sotheby's unveils the full auction contents of the Collection of Marsha & Robin Williams

Birmingham Museum of Art returns stolen statue to India

Bruce Museum Executive Director Peter C. Sutton announces plans to retire

Galerie Miranda presents Ellen Carey's latest photographic object: The Zerogram

Christie's to offer twelve works by Bacon and Freud during Frieze Week

Phillips to offer 'A Constant Pursuit: Photographs from the Collection of Ed Cohen and Victoria Shaw'

Hirshhorn receives major gift of more than 50 iconic works by Marcel Duchamp and his contemporaries

Chilean artist Iván Navarro deconstructs the notion of utopia in new exhibition at Galerie Templon

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery opens exhibition of works by Analia Saban

Gallery 46 hosts the premier of Epoh Beech's animated film 'The Masque of Blackness'

Loie Hollowell explores themes of sexuality, conception, and being a woman in today's world in new exhibition

American abstract sculptor Bruce Beasley's most recent work on view at Pangolin London

Phillips announces highlights from the upcoming New Now auction

RYAN LEE opens Indigenous Woman, a solo exhibition by Martine Gutierrez

Uruguay's 'El Pepe' is film's new working class hero

Ewbank’s Auctions to offer items from The Royal Star & Garter Homes

Crescent City Auction Gallery to hold 10th anniversary auction

Refugee baggage exhibition opens at Christian Petersen Art Museum

Ben Sledsens presents large-scale works at Tim Van Laere Gallery

Liza Lou's first exhibition in New York City in over a decade opens at Lehmann Maupin

Asya Geisberg Gallery opens Matthew Craven's second solo exhibition

Newfields debuts innovative board model

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Apple releases Spring 2019 iPhone cases and watch bands with 'Delft Blue' color in the lead

2.- Star Trek: Year Five #1 original cover art by Greg Hildebrandt Surfaces at Heritage Auctions

3.- Guitars of the greats rock halls of New York's Met museum

4.- Historic jewels and exceptional gemstones highlight Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Auction

5.- French museum renames masterpieces after black subjects

6.- Heathrow Terminal 5 exhibits skeleton of new species of dinosaur

7.- Missing Rubens sketch goes for $1.4 mn at auction

8.- The Museo del Prado opens 'Giacometti in the Museo del Prado'

9.- Inrap archaeologists discover an Etruscan tomb in a hypogeum in Aleria

10.- Picasso in Ivory Coast? A village tells of its brush with the artist

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful