Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Khoury exhibition at Arab American National Museum


Cranbrook Grad, CMU Teacher Spotlighted in Solo Show

Dearborn, MI (January 22, 2008) – Sari Khoury was many things – a student, an artist, a writer, a college professor, a philosopher, an immigrant, a family man. He was a pillar of the community in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and a citizen of the world who treasured his Palestinian heritage. The combination of these various identities made Khoury an eloquent communicator, who used both words and art to express himself and engage those around him.

The Arab American National Museum’s new exhibition, Fragmentation & Unity: The Art of Sari Khoury, presents 25 late-period works paired with quotations from Khoury’s prolific writings. Among the pieces on display January 31 through April 27 is the artist’s final work, a brilliant untitled triptych that has never before been displayed in public.

This exhibition also brings with it two “firsts” for the Arab American National Museum (AANM). The Museum is offering its first-ever series of free gallery talks, in this case for those who find abstract art intimidating and hard to understand (dates/times listed below). In addition, the Museum’s first-ever online-only companion exhibition – focusing on Khoury the man, his personal interests and his friendship with fellow Palestinian artist Kamal Boullata – will be offered at www.arabamericanmuseum.org.

Sari Khoury (1941-1997) left Jerusalem, Palestine at age 17 to forge a new life in the American Midwest. He earned an MFA from the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1965 and settled in at Central Michigan University, where he taught in the Department of Art for three decades, serving as its chairman for several years. Exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in major galleries and museums, Khoury earned a glowing global reputation.

“In his art and in his words, Sari Khoury often explored what he called the ‘non-tangible allegories’ of fragmentation and unity,” says Steve Williams, manager of the AANM’s Curatorial Department. “He reflected on these contradictory themes in terms of his own life as an Arab American, and as an artist - fragmenting his life’s experiences into abstract forms and potent symbols. Abstract art – being spontaneous and intuitive – excited him as an artist and continues to excite the viewer,” he says.

Read more by and about Sari Khoury at www.khouryart.org.

An opening reception with complimentary refreshments is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, January 31. At 7:30 p.m. that same evening, the winter-spring season of the Comerica Ford Global Thursdays world music concert series kicks off with a sizzling performance by New Orleans zydeco zealots C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band.

The opening reception for the exhibition is free and open to the public; please RSVP to Fay at 313.624.0200 or fsaad@accesscommunity.org.

Tickets for the C.J. Chenier performance are $10 in advance; $8 Museum Members and students; $12 at the door. Advance tickets are available online with a credit card at www.arabamericanmuseum.org; by phone at 313.582.2266; or in person at the Museum. For music clips and more, visit www.myspace.com/aanmglobalthursdays. The Global Thursdays series was named “Best Place to Concertize in Color Year-Round” in the Metro Times 2007 Best of Detroit issue.

The Arab American National Museum documents, preserves, celebrates, and educates the public on the history, life, culture, and contributions of Arab Americans. It serves as a resource to enhance knowledge and understanding about Arab Americans and their presence in this country. The Arab American National Museum is a project of ACCESS, a Dearborn, Michigan-based nonprofit human services and cultural organization. Learn more at www.arabamericanmuseum.org and www.accesscommunity.org.

The Arab American National Museum is a proud Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Read about the Affiliations program at http://affiliations.si.edu.

The Museum is located at 13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI, 48126. Museum hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday, Tuesday; Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is $6 for adults; $3 for students, seniors and children 6-12; ages 5 and under, free. Call 313.582.2266 for further information.