The Daura Gallery at University of Lynchburg presents Stories of the Messengers: Haydar Hatemi, an exhibition of 47 paintings that explore four sacred texts in search of peace in the aftermath of 9/11.
Internationally known Iranian artist Haydar Hatemi will attend the opening reception of the exhibition from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1. The exhibit runs through Oct. 14.
Stories of the Messengers, created in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001,provides a point for dialogue, contemplation, and healing. Hatemi spent two years studying similarities and common messages in four sacred texts, the Avesta, the Torah, the Qur’an, and the Bible. His work celebrates shared beliefs within varied world religions.
“Today, people need peace as much as they need food and water,” Hatemi writes. “… God’s messengers were the protectors of peace and order on earth, and their stories have many lessons for us to learn. I hope my art can be the common medium where people of all faiths can realize that they have more similarities than they have differences.”
The messages from these sacred texts, rendered in intricate detail, are united to provide imagery which underlines the commonality of the foundations of varying cultures. This exhibition is on loan from the Headley-Whitney Museum, Lexington, Kentucky.
Hatemi was born in Alamdar, Southern Azerbaijan on 1945. He went to Tabriz to study mathematics in high school. After two years of studying mathematics, he enrolled in Tabriz’s Art Academy. During these years, he learned the tezhip technique, the art of illuminating works with gold. He continued his art studies at the Art Academy of Tehran where he was trained by masters Hussain Behzad and Abu Talib Mugimi, the recognized masters in miniature painting not only in Iran, but worldwide.
After completing his studies at Art Academy, Hatemi entered Tehran University’s College of Fine Arts in 1967. His statue of Shah Abbas on horseback is on display at Isfahan’s Square and his composition of birds atop rocks is still on display at Tehran’s Agrentina Square. While Hatemi was a sophomore in college, he won the national award for designing the Takht-e-Tavus medal for the International Cancer Society. This award was administered by Farah Pahlavi, the Queen of Iran.
Hatemi resided in Turkey for more than 15 years and his style developed with the Ottoman-Turkish influence. He is well-known by Turkish art collectors. Hatemi is currently working under the patronage of the Qatari Royal family. He divides his time between Turkey and Kentucky.
University of Lynchburg has taken several study abroad trips to Turkey, most recently in May and June when 20 students traveled with Dr. David Lipani, professor of English, and Dr. Delane Karalow, assistant professor of art. The group took a journey back to antiquity by exploring the sites and ruins of the Mediterranean world with visits to Istanbul and Athens and the many beautiful islands that dot the region.
Two other new exhibitions will be on display at the Daura:
“Preston Craighill: Images from the Bible”includes detailed drawings of various biblical scenes reflecting Craighill’s versatile and imaginative talents.
“Sculpture and Design Projects by University of Lynchburg Students” is an installation of projects completed during the spring 2009 semester.
There will also be two “Select Sundays in the Daura Gallery” talks related to the exhibitions.
Sept. 13: “Preston Craighill: Images from the Bible and Beyond,” Dr. William McIntosh, executive director, National D-DayMemorial, 2 p.m.
Oct. 4: “Stories of the Prophets: The Blessings and Burdens of Being Chosen,”Dr. Annette Evans, assistant professor of religious studies, University of Lynchburg, 2 p.m.
For more information, contact Shannon Brennan, director of media relations, at 434.544.8609.