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Aug 20 2019

Middle East Institute Launches New Gallery

by Kate Lau

The Middle East Institute’s new gallery in Washington, DC, will open to the public on September 14. Pictured: Rendering of the interior of MEI Art Gallery.

The Middle East Institute (MEI) in Washington, DC, has announced the launch of its new MEI Art Gallery, which will open to the public on September 14, coinciding with the DC-wide art festival “Art All Night.” This new non-commercial art space will be Washington’s first gallery dedicated to showcasing contemporary art from the Middle East, and will also offer a public program of artist talks, film screenings, and panel discussions.

MEI Art Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, titled “Arabicity | Ourouba” and curated by Rose Issa, will explore the interlinked themes of identity, memory, war, and displacement through paintings, sculptures, installations, and video works produced in the past two decades. The lineup of 17 artists includes multimedia artist Adel Abidin, and the late painter and collage artist Chant Avedissian. The exhibition will run through to November 22.

A pop-up installation by Beirut-based multimedia artist Katya Traboulsi will also be on display at the gallery. Traboulsi is known for her series Perpetual Identities (2018), which examines the links between military and cultural destruction though the transformation of Lebanese bombshell replicas into intricately decorated ornaments. 

Founded in 1946, the gallery’s parent organization, MEI, is a non-profit cultural center and think tank aimed at fostering knowledge and understanding of the Middle East within the US.

Kate Lau is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, visit our Digital Library.

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