School of Art Presents M.F.A Thesis Exhibition with Ziba Rajabi: 'When they sing a song of joy with sorrow'

Misordered Story
Ziba Rajabi

Misordered Story

The School of Art at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition with Ziba Rajabi "When they sing a song of joy with sorrow."

The mixed media exhibition opens today and is on display at the Fine Arts Center Gallery through Oct. 11.

Rajabi describes herself as an Iranian woman artist based in Arkansas. Her work is inspired by Arkansas' natural landscape, but incorporates a color palette influenced by Iranian architecture façade, specifically Iranian tiles. 

She mixes and incorporates her hybrid living experiences in her works and translates them into visuals, shapes and colors. 

When they sing a song of joy with sorrow, revolves around Rajabi's desire to reconcile the relationship between Tehran, Iran, her native land, and where she resides now, Arkansas. The paintings and installations in the exhibition re-create intimate moments culled from her home and neighborhood in Iran.

"Being away from home and not being able to return due to political issues, I feel my memories of home fading away," Rajabi said.  "By utilizing memories from my past, I take aspects of images that are no longer recognizable and transition them into abstract shapes that allude to elements found in my homeland."

Everyday life interactions with architecture, furniture, gardens or a specific time of a day are then intertwined into abstract shapes as well throughout her work. 

She wants the audience to see the abstract paintings or installations and feel familiarity, but not quite place where it is or why there is a sense of kinship. Through this scenario, Rajabi hopes to show that regardless of nationality, religion or gender there are commonalities for all individuals.

Rajabi began her journey with the U of A's School of Art in Jan. 2017 and said the experience has improved her as an artist and personally. 

"I am so grateful to be able to study and work among amazing and talented people in the School of Art," Rajabi said. "In the future, I would love to continue teaching as I have learned and enjoyed my experience here at the University of Arkansas."

All are invited to see When they sing a song of joy with sorrow, Oct. 3-11, and to attend the closing reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11 at the Fine Ars Center Gallery. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 



Kayla Crenshaw, director of communications
School of Art


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