SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — A traveling art exhibit is showcasing work from Syrian refugees from the Zaa’tari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Scheduled during the Stamps of Hope exhibit is a gallery talk followed by a tour and reception featuring Middle Eastern cuisine.
Rihab Sawah, LLCC assistant professor of physics and organizer of the exhibit, will present the gallery talk. “The art celebrates the hope of a war-torn people who have left their home to try to create a better life for themselves and their families. This community of artists is struggling to make a living in a country where they have no security or citizenship,” she explains.
Some refugees brought a few art supplies with them from Syria. They painted on available material such as newspapers and cardboard boxes used for transporting food and tent fabric from the camp. Eventually, they held an art exhibit within the refugee camp.
The UN Commission and International Relief and Development Organization became interested in the art projects and supported the refugees by bringing in art supplies and arranging for participation in art exhibits outside the refugee camp.
The artists regularly organized art workshops for children providing them a platform to express ideas and sentiments, as well as give them hope for a brighter future. The artists have created a place for children to share their emotions and to come together as a community and learn they are not alone. Stamps of Hope will travel the country for five years.
Stamps of Hope
James S. Murray Gallery
October 21 – November 14
Weekdays: 8 am – 4 pm
5250 Shepherd Road
Thursday, October 24
5:30 – 7 pm