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Islamic Arts Revival Series 6th Annual Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Islamic Art

For Immediate Release

Irving Arts Center to Host 6th Annual Juried Exhibition
of Contemporary Islamic Art

Exhibit will run October 7 – November 12

IRVING, TX — Presented by the Islamic Art Revival Series (IARS) in partnership with Irving Arts Center, the 6th Annual Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Islamic Art is a program of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation. The exhibition will be on display October 7 through November 12 in the main gallery at Irving Arts Center.  Linda KomaroffCurator of Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will act as juror for the exhibition.

“The Islamic Art Revival Series is honored to once again present this prestigious international exhibition of artwork inspired by Islamic art and culture” says Shafaq Ahmad, Art Director for the Islamic Art Revival Series. “Showcasing the work of artists from around the globe, audiences will have an opportunity to experience a cross-cultural exchange of ideas, to learn about the diversity of Islamic cultures, and to appreciate different styles and perspectives. The works of these artists comes together to create a unique and in many respects multicultural and multi-faith exhibition that is unlike any other in the United States.”

Last year’s exhibition featured 68 works from 23 states and 9 countries including France, Bahrain, Iran, Italy, Korea and India.  As the Islamic world stretches across five continents, and counts approximately one fifth of the world’s population among it, the global perspective is important.

“Islamic Art belongs to many disparate lands, with different cultures and diverse languages,” according to Juror Linda Komaroff, who has become quite accustomed to expounding on the designation “Islamic Art,” which in her words is “not quite as straightforward or comprehensible as that of other collecting areas.”

Islam fostered the development of a unique social umbrella beneath which many cultural traditions, often practiced or sponsored by members of other religions, were able to develop and thrive; among these, most significantly from my own perspective, is the very special art form that bears the designation Islamic art. The term “Islamic art” is closer in meaning to what we think of when we talk about Roman art—much of which was not actually made in Rome nor even in Italy. It reflects the Roman Empire, which stretched from England to North Africa and Western Asia. Roman civilization similarly is an umbrella-like term for diverse peoples speaking different languages, united by a common written language in Latin.  In the Islamic world, there is a common liturgical language in Arabic and a shared Arabic alphabet. It is not that Islamic art has nothing to do with faith, but Islam created a civilization, and it is that civilization to which the art is tied.

-Linda Komaroff

The exhibition will feature a number of free special events which are open to the public.  Additional events and details to be announced as the exhibition nears. 

Free Activities & Events to Enlighten and Inspire

Saturday, October 7

  • Opening Night Reception featuring Linda Komaroff (7 p.m.)
    Linda Komaroff has served as LACMA’s curator of Islamic art since 1995. Her exhibitions at LACMA include The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353 (2003); A Tale of Two Persian Carpets (2009); and Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts (2011).

Saturday, October 14

  • Guided Gallery Tour, 2 pm and 4 pm
    Marcie Inman, Director of Exhibitions & Educational Programs at Irving Arts Center leads guided tours of the exhibition.  

Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 22

Special Guest Speaker/Artist: Arash Shirinbab will deliver workshops and presentations for both youth and adults October 21-22.  Arash Shirinbab is an award winning artist and calligrapher and has managed to be a successful blend of artist, Arabic-Persian calligrapher, and designer, as well as art administrator, art curator, and entrepreneur for the past ten years.  His schedule will be as follows:

  • Saturday, October 21 @ 10 am – Noon: Calligraphy workshop for kids, ages 9+
  • Saturday, October 21 @ 4 pm.  Talk/demonstration (Talk in Dupree Theater will be followed by a Calligraphy demonstration).
  • Sunday, October 22 @ 2 pm  Calligraphy workshop for adults, ages 17 and above

Saturday, October 28

Artist’s Panel Moderated by Justine Ludwig and Guest Speaker (TBA)

  • Guest Speaker (TBA) 3 pm – 4 pm (Suite 200)
  • Reception 4 pm – 4:30 pm (Main Gallery)
  • Artists Panel moderated by Justine Ludwig, 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm, (Suite 200)

Special Guest Moderator Justine Ludwig is the Director of Exhibitions/ Senior Curator at Dallas Contemporary. Her professional experience includes the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Rose Art Museum, the Colby College Museum of Art, and the MIT List Visual Arts Center. She has also curated exhibitions at the Tufts University Art Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Saturday, November 4

  • Guided Gallery Tour, 2 pm and 4 pm
    Todd Hawkins, Irving Arts Center’s Executive Director leads guided tours of the exhibition. 

For more information including special event times and locations, please visit, and      

Irving Arts Center is a department of the City of Irving and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Last year the Arts Center hosted 1,375 events, including 203 performances and 24 exhibitions and welcomed 103,719 visitors. Parking is free. For more information, call (972) 252-7558 or visit

The Islamic Art Revival Series (IARS) is a program of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, designed to increase awareness and build bridges of cultural understanding through the arts. Started in 2011 by a cross-cultural coalition of businesses and nonprofit leaders, students and small business owners, the IARS includes a diverse group of women and men, who are passionate about sharing the rich cultural relevance of Islamic Art and to enhancing cross-cultural understanding. For more information, visit

The Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation is a 501(c)(3) civic organization that empowers, promotes, and supports all women and their families through educational, outreach, philanthropy and social services. For more information, visit


Media Contacts:

Irving Arts Center:  Islamic Art Revival Series:
Jeff Mues Shafaq Ahmad
Director of Public & Media Relations            Art Director                     
Office: 972.252.4406; Cell: 469.261.4016      Phone: 214.577.1938 


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