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Release: Oct. 2, 2002

Exhibits introduce contemporary Iranian art

A local exhibit by two Iranian artists being held in conjunction with the Middle East Awareness Week through Oct. 13 offers a chance to learn about this region of the world through its artistic expressions. The exhibit is sponsored by Iowans for Peace with Iraq, University of Iowa International Programs and the Copy Exchange.

Mounted at the Summit Street Gallery, 812 S. Summit St., the exhibits are "Survey of Common Sense," by Haleh Hiazmand, and "Of Shifting Shadows," by Gita Hashemi. An opening reception will be held at the gallery from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 5. The opening will feature live Turkish music by a local saz player Bahri Karacay. Exhibit hours are 4-7 p.m. Oct. 5; 2-6 p.m. Oct. 6; 5-8 p.m. Oct. 7 and Oct. 9-11; 3-8:30 p.m. Oct. 12; and 1-3 p.m. Oct. 13. On Oct. 12 Haleh Niazmand will be showing slides of her work from 7 to 8 p.m.

Many people presume that Middle Eastern art is limited to calligraphy, ceramic tiles, illuminations, or other predominantly traditional forms. Recent accomplishments in global cinema have brought some positive changes in these incorrect assumptions, but the artists say that visual and conceptual work still needs more exposure.

The mission of the Middle East Awareness Week is to bring awareness to the local community by informing and educating the public about the Middle East and the U.S. government role in shaping events in that region. Cultures of the Middle East will be introduced and represented featuring programs that include dance, music, and visual arts.

Iowans for Peace with Iraq is a student group dedicated to raising public awareness about the plight of the Iraqi people since economic sanctions were imposed on the country in 1990. For more information about the Middle East Awareness Week, Iowans for Peace with Iraq, or the art exhibit, please send an e-mail to or visit