UAC to support monthlong residency for internationally acclaimed fine arts photographer Farah Al Qasimi

Living Room Vape, 2016, 35x26

The Wayne State University Art Collection’s (UAC) Knight Foundation Award, “Between Two Worlds: Arab Americans in Detroit,” will support a monthlong residency for the internationally acclaimed fine arts photographer Farah Al Qasimi beginning in July 2019. Al Qasimi has experienced living in two worlds firsthand, being born in the United Arab Emirates and living in the United States. As she moves between Arab communities in the Middle East and the United States, she uses photography to challenge her audience’s perception of identity and culture. Her evocative, color-soaked images focus on and celebrate the fantastic situations found in everyday life.

The Arab American National Museum (AANM) will partner with the UAC on this important project. Al Qasimi will live and work in the AANM’s Artloft space in Dearborn, Michigan, documenting the local Arab American Community. The AANM, which will serve as the conduit between the artist and the Detroit Arab American community, will also host a joint lecture by the artist.

“This generous Knight Foundation Grant will provide the University Art Collection the opportunity to collaborate with the Arab American National Museum to support one another’s mission and grow our collection to include such an important young artist,” said University Art Collection Curator/Coordinator Grace Serra.

This project will culminate with an exhibition of the artist’s work created in Detroit at Wayne State’s David Adamany Undergraduate Library in early 2020.  A series of prints will become part of the university’s permanent art collection, and the collection of the AANM. This program began as part of an ongoing effort to engage students and create an art collection that reflects the rich diversity of the community, using it as a mechanism to create the feeling of equity and inclusion.

“Between Two Worlds: Arab Americans in Detroit” is designed to build awareness of contemporary Arab American culture at Wayne State and in the metropolitan Detroit area through an artist in residency, community lecture, exhibition and commissioned works of art by Al Qasimi. This program will shed light on the art and culture of Arab Americans in Detroit, America and around the globe.

About the UAC
The Wayne State University Art Collection’s mission is to use art to educate, inspire, foster creative thinking and promote the advancement of social and cultural leadership. Guided by the principals that original works of art can be a vital component of higher education, the University Art Collection is a tool to enhance the academic and lifelong learning experiences of students, staff and the community.

Wayne State University Art Collection
Grace Serra, Art Collection Curator/Coordinator
313 577 9264