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Art Show: From Lebanon to Long Beach

Supported by a grant from the Arts Council for Long Beach, this art exhibition explored concepts pertaining to observed similarities and sociopolitical phenomenon between Lebanon and Long Beach via interactive art installations, photographed painting, and photography.

Below is not the complete show, but rather featured highlights or examples of content displayed there. 

"redlining" photo series

Photographed by Kelsey Bryan-Zwick 

This series juxtaposes the act of receiving henna with the topic of redlining, a form of institutional, policy-based segregation that excludes marginalized groups from residential areas, usually more affluent or suburban. On one hand, we see district lines from Long Beach overlaid for compositional purposes; on the other, we see lines from districts of Beirut. As we see the city develop, we see districts experience redlining. I chose to paint this and utilize henna on my hands because it is traditional to Lebanese weddings; yet as we continue to assimilate to Western wedding traditions, this becomes practiced less frequently. This series was completed over the course of an afternoon in healing creative company with Kelsey, who helped me to photograph and document every stage of the process.

"in transit" installation

Installation: Long Beach cart, plaster casts of faces and hands, CAT6 cables, assorted candles, dried flowers, acrylic on loose canvas, bubble wrap, tulle, lace, paper lanterns, bottles, paint water in mason jar, lamp, twine, rope cord, fairy lights, mirror. 

This one-time only installation intends to pay homage to the fluctuation of community in cities, as neighbors move in and out of areas due to rising living costs and gentrification. The cart, utilized frequently as an assistive option for groceries and necessities while in transit, carries items which are white— the color for loss/mourning in the religion I grew up with. Lanterns, candles, and dried flowers have been used in various cultures as means of expressing this. The cables, twine and rope symbolize the threads that connect us, as we see these manipulated by some of the hands. And yet, the path forged in these connections, however fleeting, is vibrant—as demonstrated by the multicolored canvas.

"bathtub marina" interactive installation

Paper boats, water.

I invited viewers to make a paper boat with me, and then let it set sail, where they eventually sunk into the water, joining a gradual graveyard of several others. For this, participants had an option of choosing between two thicknesses of paper, as an allegory for the amount of resources that one may have had access to impacting their ability to navigate a crisis. Both Long Beach and Beirut are port cities, dealing to some extent in imports/exports. This installation is a commentary on the economic crisis affecting both.

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