Curated by Moria Frazier, Cheyenne Good, Amber Howard

Featured works by: Sasan Ahovan, Clorinda Bell, Rachel Boillot, William Cross+, Nancy Fischman, Jeff Marley, Jocelyn Mathewes, Mary Nees, Masud Olufani, Halide Salam, Randy Sanders, Katie Sheffield, Page Turner, Nancy Villa-Calvo, Carlton Wilkinson

Interfaith Panel and Reception at the Reece Museum [Tipton Gallery (ETSU) / 126 Spring St., Johnson City, TN]: January 31, 2019. Exhibition was showcased through February 15, 2019. Panelists: Fr. Steve Matthews, Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church; Masud Olufani, Baha’i Faith; Dr. Halide Salam, Islamic Faith; and Kiran Singh, Sikh and Interfaith Peace Activist.

Presented by the Department of Art and Design, Solcumb Galleries and Reece Museum, in partnership with the Woman’s Studies Program, Department of Philosophy and Humanities, SG Curatorial Internship Program, and Tennessee Arts Commission’s Arts Project Support (APS).

This exhibition sought to bring together works of art that capture this unique element from each practice of faith. Many of the artists in this exhibition directly incorporate their personal practices of faith in their work, while others choose to represent how a certain faith has shaped our community and environment. By incorporating a wide variety of religious expression, the goal becomes fostering a sense of togetherness, community, respect, and learning among all traditions. Furthermore, because religious art often incorporates elements that may not be seen in other types of art, Tangibility of Faith will explore the qualities of religious or spiritual art that separate it from the rest, While viewing may religious images in preparation for this exhibition, it became evident that for these artists, the choice of subject matter, medium, color, style, and composition is greatly affected by treligious practice, Many times, religious or spiritual art is made differently, with a unique process or perspective.


Halide Salam, Islamic Faith

My paintings are a personal sanctuary where I communicate directly with the “natural world"s, conduction a sacred conversation with archetypal forms encountered in the imagination. Although my vision are of an empirical nature, I am confronted nonetheless with the innate symmetries that lie latent within all complex natural phenomena. These, combined with history, knowledge and experiences give rise to a vision that unites cosmological ultimates - of genesis and extinction - and finalizes into a magical metaphor of an enlightened state of experience. Coming from the schools sacred geometry and universal patterns, I find connections with the everyday phenomenon in nature and life experiences with sacred texts. In my work, the square represents enclosure and what is finite whereas the circle that the physical space to memor, the imagination and my surroundings.

My paintings are investigations to be viewed as time-zoners in which she intuits patterns and structures inherent in nature that speak to the connection of all living organisms. Dhikr - remembering faculty - is an induced memory state of mind where comprehended signs can be interfaced with an inner vision and knowledge. Using this state of mind, I investigate ‘the unity of the real’ - that everything within one’s consciousness, the unconscious and all that is to inspire my painting process. I belong to the school of contemporary anionic art where the image is the vestige, immediate consciousness to charge the meaning and purpose of the images. These are applied in an unobtrusive way but aim to register at some level within the viewer’s consciousness. There is never any attempt at atmosphere, shadow, perspective or modeling. Each mark of color remains independent yet perceptibly connected to the galactic energy surrounding it.

In Trees of Existence - Tree of Light, I use a system of visual metaphors from geometry and nature by which the viewer may interact and feel stimulated towards imaginary suggestions and representation of an interstellar nature. In Remembering the Seven - Noah, Abraham, and Moses and Jesus, each work symbolizes a specific, spiritual level of wisdom and discovery. The imaged metaphor, created by geometrical patterns of a spatial nature, is just a vehicle to convey paradoxical references to the actual and virtual nature of the legendary men.