7 JULY City Hall 2017

Islamic Arts Exhibit Opens With Grand Celebration 

 Art Display Hosted at Houston City Hall 

 Houston, TX.-An unprecedented exhibition of Islamic art was celebrated at Houston City Hall reception July 25. 

 The Islamic Arts Society created “The Arts of the Islamic World,” an exhibit of diverse works by Houston-based Muslim artists.  More than 200 people attended the event where Mayor Sylvester Turner cut the ribbon officially inaugurating the display.  Also in attendance were consul generals, city councilmembers and other elected officials. 

 The reception was part of the two month long exhibition at the City Hall, 901 Bagby, that will last until the 31st of August. The exhibition is jointly organized by the Islamic Arts Society and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and is co curated by Shaheen Rahman of IAS and Gail Mebane of Harambee Art gallery.  The exhibition showcases the work of 24 artists belonging to the Islamic Arts Society. 

 Earlier at the weekly City Council meeting, Islamic Arts Society Board Chair Dr. Khawaja Azimuddin told Council that “Art is a universal language.  By promoting Islamic arts, we are aspiring to promote mutual understanding and to bring the broader Houston community together.” 

 Board Member Zaf Tahir praised the Mayor and Council for embracing “a multicultural environment” in the city and said the exhibit sheds a “powerful light” on the 200,000 Muslims living in the greater Houston area. 

Tahir repeated the belief frequently expressed by Mayor Turner:  “We don’t build walls, we build relationships.” 

Islamic Art dates back to the 7th century and consists of arts produced in lands inhabited by Muslims. It covers numerous places and people over the course of some 1,400 years. Islamic Art is not limited to religious art. It is also seen in day to day utilitarian objects as well as in architecture. It encompasses the rich and diverse cultures of Islamic societies. 

 Even with this diversity, certain underlying themes and similarities unify and link the art across the Islamic world. These include architecture, art of the books (calligraphy and manuscript illumination), and arts of objects such as ceramics, glass, textiles and metalwork. Each of these was decorated with calligraphy, geometric patterns, arabesque, scrolling patterns, and floral or plant designs. 

 The Islamic Arts Society aims to promote mutual understanding through arts and to bring the broader Houston community together. The society organizes exhibitions and events to share the beauty of Islamic arts. Their annual festival is scheduled for November 11th & 12th this year