Orlando Museum of Art placing focus on Iranian-American and Arab-American artists

A collaboration between the Orlando Museum of Art and the American University in Cairo, “A Boundless Drop to a Boundless Ocean,” will feature artworks by 21 artists in simultaneous exhibitions in Orlando and Cairo from January 29 through May 2,2021. The exhibition’s title, taken from Kahlil Gibran’s bestselling book, “The Prophet,” describes an immigrant’s transformation from “a boundless drop to a boundless ocean.”

The show begins with a drawing by Gibran. The immigrant artist’s journey entails a creative negotiation between the past and the present, between here and there. Along the way, diasporic artists create their own visual language that can convey meaning across cultural, linguistic, and social borders. Bringing together artworks created over the span of a century, the exhibition explores the rich cultural landscape of American diasporas.

Curated by Dr. Shiva Balaghi, with support from Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon, “A Boundless Drop to a Boundless Ocean” will be on view in galleries at the Orlando Museum of Art and the American University in Cairo’s Tahrir Cultural Center.

Offered simultaneously with the American University in Cairo, it is an extraordinary opportunity to reflect deeply about a sense of place and belonging.

OMA’s recent acquisition of a photograph by the artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat served as impetus for the exhibition, which underlines the museum’s commitment to presenting a diverse window into contemporary American art. The exhibition will feature 21 Iranian-American and Arab-American artists including Shiva Ahmadi, Diana Al-Hadid, Farah Al Qasimi, Siah Armajani, Ali Banisadr, Huguette Caland, Ala Ebtekar, Lalla Essaydi, Amir H. Fallah, Kahlil Gibran, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Sherin Guirguis, Pouran Jinchi, Hayv Kahraman, Arghavan Khosravi, Youssef Nabil, Jordan Nassar, Shirin Neshat, Nicky Nodjoumi, Kour Pour and Michael Rakowitz.

The show presents a diverse range of artistic expression and formal approaches including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, textiles, and digital animation.

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