FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington’s Emery Community Arts Center will be presenting “Inner Fragments,” an exhibition of art by 16 Iranian female artists. Curated by Iranian artists Parisa Ghaderi and Mahsa Soroudi, this show is the first time many of these original works have been exhibited in the United States.

The exhibit is on display in Emery’s Flex Space Gallery from Thursday, Sept. 20, through Thursday, Nov. 1. There will be an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at which the curators will be present. In addition, a presentation by the curators will take place at noon on Friday, Sept. 21, in the Emery Performance Space.

Iranian art has a rich, profound and prominent art heritage, including outstanding Persian rugs, tile work, enormous rock reliefs and detailed Persian miniatures. Like many other countries, it has evolved over time and has found a unique voice in the modern contemporary art scene. Many of the artists participating in the exhibition live and work inside Iran and represent a new wave in contemporary Iranian art.

The artists included in this exhibit are: Hadieh Afshani; Mahshid Asoudekhah; Ghazaleh Baniahmad; Nasim Davari; Sanaz Dezfoulian; Narcisse E.Esfahani; Maryam Farahzadi; Elahe Farzi; Neda Moinafshari; Niloofar Mohammadifar; Farnaz Rabieijah; Azadeh Ramezani Tabrizi; Nastaran Safaei; Mahshid Soroudi; Tarlan Tabar; and Nazli Tahvili.

For these emerging artists, born after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran’s political and social turbulence has not been an obstacle in the development of their artistic voice. In fact, it has helped fuel and shape it.

This exhibition portrays a slice of women’s lives that is profound and beyond typical cliches. It is an invitation to forget the stereotypical images of Iran and women and it invites the viewer to be part of their intimate and private moments and through their lens. It will create a space for dialogue and constructive discussion between the artists and the American audience thus engaging in an artistic discourse regardless of political and geographical boundaries.

Soroudi is an artist and independent art curator who is interested in interdisciplinary topics that can evolve into thought-provoking and meaningful exhibitions as well as become case studies that exist beyond the exhibition for further exploration. She is also passionate about taking steps towards familiarizing the community with the contemporary artists who may go disregarded or unseen due to the absence of fair exposure. In recent years, she’s been concerned about how contemporary Iranian art is being showcased in other countries and to what extent these expositions have presented Iranian contemporary art unaffected by popular stereotypes.

Ghaderi is a visual artist and filmmaker. She earned her BA in visual communications from Art & Architecture University (Tehran, Iran) in 2006, and her MFA in art and design from the University of Michigan in 2014. Her work responds to her experience of living in Iran and the U.S. She deals with emotional and physical distance, compounded loss and the opacity of language.

Emery Community Arts Center is on Academy Street between Main and High streets downtown.

From “The Fireworks” series, acrylic on canvas by Niloofar Mohammadifar.

Untitled mixed media on board by Mahshid Asoudekhah.

Mahsa Soroudi, curator

Parisa Ghaderi, curator


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