I AM ends its 20-month global tour of Middle Eastern artists by visiting the Music City and Queen City Nashville, Tennessee and Burlington, Vermont
By CARAVAN | Reprinted with permission
At a time when the world’s attention is focused on respecting women’s rights, and while there is increased stereotyping and misconceptions of the Middle East, CARAVAN’s I AM exhibition brought the work of 31 celebrated Arab and Persian women artists focusing on peace to Nashville, Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University and Burlington, Vermont’s Cathedral of St. Paul, before closing its 20-month eight venue global tour.
I AM opened in late August at Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery at the invitation of the Chancellor of Vanderbilt University, Nicholas S. Zeppos. The official opening program involved guest speakers Nicholas S. Zeppos, VU Chancellor, Joseph S. Mella, Director, Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery, the Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler of CARAVAN and participating Bahraini artist Sheikha Lulwa Al Kahlifa. An exciting schedule of 20 events and programs accompanied the I AM exhibition for students, faculty and the general public during its running to stimulate discussion, dialogue and education, promoting further understanding.
In late October, the I AM exhibition traveled to the Northeast and opened in Burlington, Vermont at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul (in the featured image above). Special guests at the opening program included Betsy Beaulieu of the Cathedral Arts commission, Bishop Thomas Ely of The Episcopal Church in Vermont, Imam Abd’Llah Al- Ansari of The Islamic Society of Vermont, Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler of CARAVAN, and participating Yemeni-Bosnian artist Alia Ali. Various programs were held during the course of the exhibition, such as an artist’s talk event with acclaimed participating artist Helen Zughaib of Lebanon titled “Arab Spring: Unfinished Journeys,” and a special program titled The Power of Art, which entailed a conversation between art historian Dr. Sarah Rogers and artist Helen Zughaib.
Both the Nashville and Burlington showings of I AM received many visitors and engendered a lot of media and press attention. Overall, the I AM global tour was extremely successful. I AM first opened in Amman, Jordan in May 2017 under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah and during its tour was been showcased in London, England, Washington, D.C., Jackson, Wyoming, Cincinnati, Ohio, Seattle, Washington, Nashville, Tennessee, and Burlington, Vermont.
We are extremely grateful to the 31 artists from 12 countries who participated in I AM, and to all our partners, host venues, sponsors and our guest curator, Janet Rady, for making this I AM exhibition so successful – strategically building bridges between the Middle East and West toward developing more harmonious and peaceful world.