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Women Artists

Museum devoted to Palestinian art to celebrate International Women's Day with exhibition

The show features more than 200 works by women artists such as Samia Halaby and Laila Shawa

Tent (2020) by the Jordan-based artist Aya Abu Ghazaleh, one of the emerging women artists included in the exhibition Palestine Museum US

The Palestine Museum US in Woodbridge, Connecticut will celebrate International Women’s Day with an exhibition of more than 200 works by around 50 Palestinian female artists. The show Telling the Palestinian Story (8 March-30 May) is a response to the “little attention Palestinian women artists receive in the Western world in general and in the US in particular”, says Faisal Saleh, the Palestinian-American entrepreneur who founded the non-profit museum in 2018.

The exhibition includes paintings, photographs, sculptures and other works of art by artists such as the New York-based painter Samia Halaby, known for her vivid nature-inspired paintings that evoke the Palestinian landscape, and the London-based painter Laila Shawa, who often reflects on social injustices against Arab women in her work. Other artists include Manal Deeb, Tamam Akhal Shammout, Jacqueline Bejani and Juhaina Habibi Kandalaft.

“Some of the artists are highly regarded and well-established, and we will be showing their art side by side with that of young talented artists whose works have not received the attention of art collectors and connoisseurs,” Saleh says. “Our aim is to represents a wide spectrum of styles by Palestinian artists.”

The 6,000 sq. ft museum, whose staff is made up of Palestinian nationals and those of Palestinian descent, is the first institution in the US devoted to Palestinian art. The museum is a collecting institution that owns more than 200 paintings, photographs, textiles and historical artefacts by Palestinian artists; it plans to acquire some of the works included in the current exhibition.

“Our mission is to showcase Palestine artistic excellence and tell the Palestinian story through the arts,” Saleh says.