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New Jersey Book Arts Symposium: 2012 - Eighteenth Annual

Book Art of the Fertile Crescent

November 2, 2012

Paul Robeson Center for the Arts

The Book Art of the Fertile Crescent is part of The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society in the Middle East, a project organized by the Institute for Women and Art at Rutgers University, and co-directed by Judith K. Brodsky and Ferris Olin. The project consists of a showcase of exhibitions, symposia, lectures, film showings, musical and literary events by contemporary Middle East women artists, composers, film makers, and writers. Among its goals is to demonstrate how artists, film makers and writers can contribute to and clarify dialogues on current contentious issues and provide new perspectives for addressing those issues, how the work of these creative women expresses and clarifies the issues surrounding gender, geopolitics, and the environment in Middle East society, to introduce these ideas to a broad spectrum of audiences in the United States, and to open conversations across diverse communities in the cultural heritage of New Jersey’s growing population from the Middle East Diaspora.

Amina Ahmed + Elizabeth A. Jabar + Patricia Sarafian Ward

The Symposium will feature three artists with a common background in Middle Eastern culture discussing their artists’ books: Amina Ahmed grew up in England and has lived in Iran and the USA. She received an MFA form the Royal College of Art where she specialized in Visual Islamic and Traditional Art and was awarded the Barakat Trust Prize for excellence. A visual artist and educator, Ahmed’s projects are inspired by her faith and interests in human rights and coalition-building. Currently, She is a member of The Elizabeth Foundation For the Arts in NYC. Elizabeth A. Jabar received an MFA from Pratt Institute. She is a print-based artist whose hybrid works on paper explore ideas of ethnicity and heritage. Her printed assemblages and artists books incorporate cultural motifs from folk art, religious traditions and textiles. She is an Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of Printmaking at the Maine College of Art, in Portland, Maine; Patricia Sarrafian Ward was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon and is of American-Armenian-Danish heritage. She earned an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she received numerous awards, including Hopwood Awards in Novel and Short Fiction. Her novel, The Bullet Collection , about two sisters growing up in wartime Beirut, was published by Graywolf Press in 2003. The Center for Book Arts awarded her a fellowship for the Fine Press & Letterpress Printing Seminar in 2005.

Immediately following the presentations Nahid Hagigat will moderate a panel discussion and questions and answers. Hagigat is an internationally exhibited artist, curator, art teacher, and art therapist. After graduating in Fine Arts from Tehran University, she received an MFA from New York University, and a Ph.D in Behavioral Therapy from Huntington Pacific University, specializing in Emotional Healing through Art. She is the founder and former Director of the Center for Iranian Art, New York, and former Art Director of Gallery 24, New York .

Book Art of the Fertile Crescent will be held on November 2, 2012 at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts at 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ. (For directions, see “ Paul Robeson Center for the Arts at 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ” in Google Maps.)

The Program in Brief

Onsite registration begins at 8:45 AM. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own books, bookworks, prints and other works on paper to share at the Book Artists Jam, 8:45 to 9:45. After opening remarks by Michael Joseph, Founding Director of the New Jersey Book Arts Symposium, the Symposium presentations will begin at 10:00 and end at 11:30. The panel discussion will conclude at approximately 12:30. Attendees are encouraged to eat lunch in downtown Princeton and then enjoy the other Fertile Crescent exhibitions in the Paul Robeson Center and at the Princeton Public Library.

See: for more information.