University of Pittsburgh
October 20, 2004

Pitt to Display the Work of Islamic Master Calligraphers Oct. 25-Nov. 5

Free public workshop teaches the art of Arabic calligraphy
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Diverse calligraphic art representing distinct regions of the Islamic world will be on display from Oct. 25 through Nov. 5 in Pitt's Kimbo Art Gallery in the William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. There will be an opening reception from 7 until 9 p.m. Oct. 25. The exhibition, titled "Look! This is Love, Islam: A Cultural Experience," includes 35 works created by world-renowned master calligraphers. The exhibition is a project of Cultural Connexion, a nonprofit organization that promotes and preserves Arabic and Islamic arts and cultures while fostering better dialogue between the Arab and Muslim communities of the West.

At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, Fawzia Reda, creative director of Cultural Connexion, will give a presentation, titled "Islamic Calligraphy and Spirituality." She will explain how the exhibition's works reflect the diversity and freedom of artistic expression that characterize the Islamic culture, as well as its spiritual and moral symbolism. According to Reda, the ultimate message of Islamic calligraphy is harmony, tolerance, and cultural conciliation stemming from mutual recognition, acceptance, and appreciation of differences.

Reda also will lead a discussion on cultural, social, and current events in the Islamic world and in the Middle East at noon, Oct. 26, in 4217 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland.

On Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in 4130 Posvar Hall, the public is welcome to learn the art of Arabic calligraphy during a free workshop, but registration is required by Oct. 22. Register online at www.cerisnet.org. Participants will be introduced to Arabic letters and will survey the history and major Arabic calligraphy styles. With hands-on exercises, participants will practice lettering and composition of names or phrases.

For more information about the Pitt exhibition, visit www.cerisnet.org or call Elaine Linn, community relations coordinator for Pitt's University Center for International Studies (UCIS), at 412-624-4780.

Following Pitt's Oct. 25 exhibition, the Islamic calligraphy exhibit will be on display at the BOTTLE WORKS Ethnic Arts Center—411 Third Ave., Cambria City, Johnstown, Pa.—Nov. 7. An opening reception will be held at 5 p.m., featuring delicacies prepared by local Muslim community members and a presentation on Islamic calligraphy and spirituality. A second Arabic calligraphy workshop will be given by Mohmoud Qazi Nov. 20. For more information on the Johnstown exhibition, visit www.bottleworks.org.

The Western Pennsylvania exhibitions were made possible by Pitt's Asian Studies Center and the Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies within UCIS, the Pitt Program Council, Pitt Department of Religious Studies, the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund at The Pittsburgh Foundation.

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