Diaspora In Bloom

A First of its Kind Exhibition…

Independently curated by my creative partner Akadina Yadegar and myself, the show was on view during June 2019 at the Art Ark Gallery in downtown San Jose’s arts district. The exhibit featured over 30 works assembled in a variety of media including – photography, painting, video, posters, drawing, pottery, poplar, and graphic design.

The curation offered a unique look into the bay area’s Assyrian-American community at a time when they remain vulnerable in their countries of origin and their status as immigrants increasingly politicized in national debate.

Diaspora In Bloom featured the artwork of three emerging Assyrian-American artists:

Atra Givarkes, Esther Elia, & Rabel Betshmuel.

From incorporating ancient Assyrian motifs, to creating pop art Assyrian calligraphy, and from political statements on the global refugee crisis to commentary about the complexity of race, the show did not shy away from addressing urgent topics of today; All while remaining incredibly vibrant, playful, and larger than life.

By bringing together so many varied works of art that both celebrate and challenge traditional Assyrian culture, the show explored the multifaceted contemporary Assyrian experience. 

The universal themes of identity, community, diaspora, and cultural continuity that emerged from the premier exhibition have continued in two subsequent curations.

In 2020, Diaspora In Bloom: Transcending Borders Through Assyrian Art débuted as the first ever virtual gallery of Assyrian art. The forthcoming in-person exhibition in September 2021 is subtitled Without a Kiss: Assyrian artwork during Lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.