ArtEAST to debut ‘Women of Persia’ exhibit in the Highlands

April 15, 2014

By Staff

Contemporary Americans might not recognize names like Artemisia, a female commander in the ancient Persian navy; Farah Pahlavi, empress of Iran until 1979; or Shirin Ebadi, the woman who won Iran’s first Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

But artist Farshad Alamdari hopes women who view his work will recognize aspects of themselves in his paintings inspired by women in Persian history.

The paintings in Alamdari’s “Women of Persia” series will be on display at Blakely Hall through May 30. An artist reception is April 19. The exhibition and reception are presented by artEAST in partnership with the Issaquah Highlands Council.

Alamdari, a native of Iran, trained at the Gage Academy of Art after relocating to Seattle from England, where he had a 25-year career in architecture.

His “Women of Persia” paintings were informed by extensive research in Persian history and were inspired by his mother, wife and daughter. Watching each generation persevere against evolving challenges, he witnessed a common strength that he also observed in his historical research.

“The ‘Women of Persia’ series celebrates women’s ability to adapt to new and unsettling situations beyond their control, and to successfully control their own destiny when given the chance,” Alamdari said in a news release. “The paintings depict the complex internal, unspoken, intangible qualities that account for this capacity to endure and triumph.”

Alamdari said he hopes his paintings, and the stories behind them, will generate a sense of familiarity among contemporary women.

“‘I am her.’ That’s the response we would like to see,” he said.

If you go

‘Women of Persia’  artist reception
6-8 p.m. April 19
Blakely Hall
2550 N.E. Park Drive

Alamdari lives in Bellevue with his wife, Fariba Alamdari. His exhibition represents artEAST’s commitment to bringing global art to Issaquah and surrounding communities, where 25 percent of residents come from backgrounds other than Caucasian.

The artEAST Art Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the arts an integral part of community life. The center houses a gallery offering artwork by more than 100 local artists. ArtEAST presents new exhibitions each month, hosts dozens of community events, and offers classes and workshops for novice and professional students.

The “Women of Persia” exhibition is part of artEAST’s “Art That Talks” series, engaging community dialogue through art.

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