Opening Reception: Universal Messages New Vistas
Saturday, November 3, 6pm–8pm
Vocal Performances at 7pm
Free and Open to the Public
Join us for the opening of a new exhibition showcasing local Muslim women artists, including Salma Arastu, Bassamat Fayoumi Bahnasy, Manli Salimah Chao, Rabea Chaudhry, Rubina Kazi, Yasmin Khafagi, Azeem Khaliq, Nabeela Sajjad and Ayesha Samdani.
As part of the opening reception, singers and performers of various faith backgrounds will present “Sounds of Faith,” a program of spiritual songs, starting at 7pm. The performance will begin with a recitation from the Quran, followed by Hebrew hymns, a medley of Indian bhajans, a healing hymn and Sufi chanting. Featuring Mustapha Harb, Taya Shere, Snigdha Venkataramani, Clare Hedin and Issa Chishty.
Underwriting for opening receptions generously provided by Mechanics Bank.
Sunday, November 11, 1pm–3pm
Community members of all ages are invited to create their own mandalas, as well as contribute to a group mandala with lead artist Salma Arastu. A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Indian and Buddhist religions, representing the universe. According to the artist, all faiths are connected through philosophy, myths, rituals and deep-rooted beliefs in the mandala circle, and are moving towards the center.
In Search of Eternal Love
Thursday, November 15, 7pm–8pm
Performance artist Naina Shastri and visual artist Salma Arastu collaborate on a performance that combines classical Indian dance, poetry and video projection to connect thirteenth-century Persian mystic Mevlana Rumi and sixteenth-century Indian saint Meera Bai, who both spoke of finding salvation in love.
Shastri is a performing artist, choreographer and teacher of the Indian classical dance style known as Bharatanatyam in the Tri Valley area. She is the artistic director of the Ushanjali School of Dance.
Arastu is an artist and curator whose work has been exhibited internationally in India, Iran, Kuwait, Germany and the United States. She has had more than 30 solo and group exhibitions, including at Stanford’s Cantor Center for the Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art at Saint Louis University. She earned her MFA from the MS University of Baroda in India.