Topic: “Demonstration and talk with the artist Zahra Jahanfard” Speaker: Zahra Jahanyfard
Iranian born designer and artist, Zahra Jahanyfard attended Pardis University of Esfahan, Iran, followed by the establishment of her own professional Art Institute – Bahar – in Najafabadi, Iran. After immigrating to the United States in 2007, she continued her education and graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. As part of her study program, she was a recipient of the Study Abroad Scholarship which allowed her to spend time in Paris, France. Jahanyfard’s designs and artwork are inspired by her cultural and social background, her studies in the US, and the experience of being a woman influenced by her past and present worlds. Her artwork features mixed media, has been exhibited in numerous venues, and has received a multitude of awards both in Iran and in the United States. Her artwork is the evolution from a school building in Iran to the fulfillment of the American Dream. It is the story of her life and experiences and comes from her heart to all people!
Art Statement My work is a signature of my culture and society. The freedom offered in the United States allows me to “live out loud.” Because of this opportunity, I have discovered that art acts as a bridge between people, cultures, and societies. It raises awareness to social issues that have previously been hidden or kept quiet. I believe my artwork is a collaboration with the universe which I share with others. As such, the women in my work are reflections of me as I began to adapt to a new way of life and the processes by which I discovered more of myself. Over time, it seems that patterns have emerged which revealed the hidden power of women.
As I continue to explore these relationships and expand my artwork, my desire is to lend a voice to others who do not have the freedom that I am experiencing. Being an artist has taught me to live in the moment and be creative in life. My work is an emotional expression of this journey, as well as my shifting perceptions of a woman from a different culture and society. It is always my objective to paint reality as I see it. Many times my artwork starts with a simple question from my personal life, conversation between my kids at the dinner table or maybe an outlet for a creative problem. Sometimes it is a question about life, love, or relationships. Satisfaction in my creations occurs when my artwork offers an answer to the beginning question. When viewed by others, it is my hope that this process generates opportunities for the viewing audience to ask their own questions and to live in the moment and be creative in life.
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