Syrian artists are very aware of their history, mythologies and traditions
Syria, Culture, 5/12/2001
"Syrian art is very interesting, because of the ancient history of the country. The Syrian artists are very aware of their history, the mythologies and traditions. And this is shown in their art works. They might be working very differently, even from each other, but underneath there is a common awareness of their place in Syria through their history and the use of symbols ," said American artist Sandra Lerner in a statement to Arabic News.
She said that she is in Damascus to participate in the 3rd international Festival held in Aleppo under the title " women's art Festival" which brings about women artists from all over the world and dedicated to the ICRC campaign " Women and war."
She added that her visit to Syria comes through a joint venture by the Syrian ministry of culture and the American cultural center in Damascus.
She said that by bringing women from so many countries, Syrian artists can have an idea on what is going on outside Syria, noting that both in Aleppo and Damascus there are a lot of sharing between artists.
She added she was able during her visit to go at least to 10 studios and could see the works of technically very skilled artists and she knew that five prominent Syrian artists went to Washington DC and displayed their work, noting that this kind of cooperation is good for the American to see Syrian art and to have more understanding. She added that the fact is that the artists have a common language. She commented: "I have more similarities with Syrian artists that the American dentist."
About her experience in Syria, Mrs. Lerner said In Aleppo she did two workshops for at Shebani Church and other three at Fathi Muhammad Center for fine arts, while in Damascus she did two workshops at Adham Ismael center for fine arts.
Describing her experience with the Syrian students Mrs. Lerner said that the students are very open, curious and really wanting information and their creativity was obvious in that they made me feel " I gave them something with a nice give and take between students and myself." She explained that for the students to have an artist from another place for a short period of time encourages them to be more experimental and takes some risk with the work, noting that " I found young people in Syria very receptive, very generous to me and the workshop was the best part of my visit to Syria." She said that as an artist she feels the Syrian artists need exposure outside Syria, may be through the Internet, " so you keep to see their arts, and exchange artistic programs, so as to show people what they do."
About her impressions on Syria, Mrs. Lerner said the country and people were much more than I expected. The layers of history opened my mind. She added as saying: " I am taking back to the USA much more I came here to Syria with. A better understanding, the richness of the country." Sandra Lerner graduated from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and from the Philadelphia College of Art, and has been a professional artist for twenty years.
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