Opening Reception: Thursday, November 1 from 5pm to 7pm
In this exhibition, Sobia Ahmad and Sepideh Salehi examine issues related to national identity and belonging, cultural memory, the notion of home, and gender.
By incorporating aspects of storytelling and letter writing, Salehi recollects the experiences she had growing up in post-1979 Tehran. The ideas for her projects often stem from experimenting with different techniques and materials, which she then evolves to incorporate her broader conceptual frame. She weaves personal narrative and cultural history into her work, reflecting on the ways in which she, and other women, navigated the shifting social and political landscapes. She is interested in issues of gender and violence as well as emergent cultural identities. She also explores the idea of home and longing that she felt after leaving Tehran. Ultimately she uses her work to understand how her life was marked and shaped by these different events, and to reflect on them more generally.
Ahmad’s work also integrates cultural memory, personal narrative, gender, and issues of identity. However, her most recent work expands on this to consider the relationship between personal narrative and the public consumption of the “Other”. How do immigrant artists resist the ways in which the art world in particular fetishizes trauma and commodifies the immigrant experience? What is the relationship between personal narrative and larger structures of power? How and where do immigrant artists, especially women, carve out spaces of representation? Ahmad’s work mirrors back to us our cultural biases while recollecting and reclaiming her individual perspective.
Stamp Gallery and The Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development will cosponsor two artist talks, free and open to the public:
- Sobia Ahmad: November 15, 5 PM – 6:15 PM in Adele’s on the first floor of the Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
- Sepideh Salehi: November 28, 6 PM – 7:15 PM in Juan Jimenez 2208, Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Sobia Ahmad moved to the United States at the age of fourteen after being born and raised in Pakistan. She is a 2016 graduate of the Bachelor’s in Studio Arts and the Honors Art Program at the University of Maryland College Park. Her work has been included in the Sadat Art for Peace permanent collection, and has been displayed widely in the Washington D.C. metro area, in Los Angeles at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, and in several other cities including Chicago, Seattle, and London. Ahmad is the 2018-2019 recipient of Next Generation/Sanctuary Studio Fellowship at VisArts in Maryland. She was also awarded an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center for winter 2018.
Sepideh Salehi is a multidisciplinary artist born in Tehran. She left Iran to attend Accademia di belle Arti in Florence Italy where she received her MFA in Visual Art and Multimedia. She works in various media and utilizes different processes ranging from painting and drawing to printmaking, video art, and painting in motion. Some of the venues where Salehi has shown her work include REVEAL at The Space by Advocartsy LA, If So, What? Roya Khadjavi Projects SF, Patterning curated by Samantha Friedman at Kentler International Drawing Space,Brooklyn, NY, STRAPPA Rogue Space Chelsea NY, Craft and Folk Art Museum LA, the cutlog Art Fair NY, Tribeca Video Art NY, 3 Centre for Contemporary Art Luigi Pecci, Virgiliano Museum and International Bologna Art Fair Italy. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn New York.
- Mondays–Thursdays: 10am to 8pm
- Fridays: 10am to 6pm
- Saturdays: 11am to 4pm
The Stamp Gallery at the University of Maryland is located at 1220B Adele H. Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. For more information visit thestamp.umd.edu/stamp_gallery.