Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates opened to much acclaim at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, Washington on Saturday, May 16th. His Excellency Abdulla Alsaboosi, the Consul General of the United Arab Emirates in Los Angeles, was in attendance, along with Dana Al Marashi, Head of Heritage and Social Affairs Department at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Washington, D.C., and Abdul Qader Al Rais, one of the most-celebrated artists in the UAE and whose work is featured in Past Forward.
Meridian’s Dr. Curtis Sandberg, Senior Vice President for the Arts and Cultural Programs, participated in a well-attended panel discussion moderated by Dr. Robert Sauders, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography and Anthropology at the Eastern Washington University. Dr. Sandberg was joined on stage by Dana Al Marashi and Abdul Qader Al Rais to talk about art, culture, and identity.
Meridian, in collaboration with the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and the UAE Embassy, organized a week of community events and teaching opportunities, among which included outreach to local American Indians.
Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates – the first major touring exhibition of Emirati artwork abroad – features over fifty paintings, photographs, sculptures, video installations, and other media by twenty-five leading Emirati artists. The exhibition showcases core elements of life in the UAE and emphasizes the importance of kinship and home, nature and landscape, as well as technology and innovation in Emirati culture. Past Forward opens this weekend at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, Washington, and will be on display through June 28th. For more information about the exhibition and to view the artworks, visit meridian.org/pastforward.