LEWISTON – An exhibit titled “6,000 miles” and comprised solely of artwork by Tahir Saleh, an accomplished artist originally from the Sudan who now resides in Lewiston, will open at L/A Arts’ Community Gallery Wednesday, July 9.

An artist reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 11. The exhibit runs through Aug. 22.

Unlike most exhibits where artwork is matted, framed and then hung precisely on the gallery wall, this exhibit boasts artwork “in the raw,” acrylic paintings on canvas, board, and paper taken straight out of the artist’s studio to hang “en masse.”

Viewers will be surrounded by rich colors, bold strokes, flowing curves and rhythmic patterns blended together in vibrant abstract impressions, intimate tableaus and graceful figures. Much of the art focuses on the female figure – in Saleh’s words, “Dieu créa la femme.”

The title of the exhibit refers to the distance from the United States to the Sudan, but Saleh’s life has not been a straight line. Raised in what he considers “the crossroads of Pharonic, Nubian, African and Arab cultures,” his official art education began in Cairo, Egypt, where he received his first diploma. He soon moved to Italy and completed several degree programs ranging from painting to theater/cinema to biology at The Academy of Arts in both Florence and Rome. Since then, Saleh has had solo and group exhibits in Egypt, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Eritrea, The Sudan, and most recently Houston, Texas, and Atlanta, Ga.

“When Tahir began talking with us about showing his work, we were intrigued. His credentials are that of a master. Now to see his work on the walls confirms his talent but also speaks of his compassion for the human condition that permeates so much of his artwork,” said L/A Arts Marketing Director Cheri Donahue.

Besides the opportunity to meet Saleh at the artists reception, the public is invited to stop in during one of his demonstrations: from noon until 3 p.m. July 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 18, from noon until 3 p.m. Aug. 14 and from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Aug. 15 .

The Community Gallery is at 221 Lisbon St., across from the Lewiston Public Library. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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