Art + Conversation with Kifah Abdulla

This virtual program offers a glimpse into calligraphy, one of the art forms featured in the exhibition, The Sea in a Jug: The Welch Collection of Islamic and Later Indian Art. The exhibition features secular and religious art made by both Muslims and non-Muslims living in places defined or influenced by Islam. There are paintings, drawings, sculptures and ornamental objects dating from the thirteenth to the twentieth century. This exhibition was organized in collaboration with Marta Ameri, Assistant Professor in the Art Department, and students in her course, Art of the Islamic Book.

In this program, Maine artist Kifah Abdulla, will help us connect the past to the present. He will demonstrate the art of calligraphy and share how he incorporates calligraphy into his own artistic practice. Kifah Abdulla is an artist, poet, writer, performer, teacher and activist. Originally from Iraq, he lived for many years as a refugee in Jordan and Holland before becoming a U.S. citizen. Kifah has created Rebel: Take Action, an art project and movement that uses art to talk about social and environmental issues we face today. His newest book, Mountains Without Peaks, is a memoir about his life in Baghdad in the early 1980s, compulsory military service during the Iraq-Iran war, and being captured as a prisoner of war. Kifah lives and works in Portland, Maine.