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June 5, 2013—
When the Alumni Relations Department, in conjunction with the Fine Arts Department, asked alumni to submit their artwork for a planned alumni exhibit, more than 200 entries flooded in. A selection committee whittled the submissions down to just 25, all of which were on display in the Sheikh Zayed Hall gallery in the Safadi Fine Arts Building on the Beirut campus.
“The alumni were so happy to include their work in the exhibit because it was the first alumni event of the Fine Arts department in some 30 years,” said Rached Bohsali, chairman of the Fine Arts and Foundation Studies department.
“I didn’t like to refuse people, but the space is less than 90 square meters and we had to chose works that fit together harmoniously.”
The exhibit featured works from three generations of LAU graduates, all of whom are renowned artists. It includes a cross section of media - painting, ceramics, photography - and is thematically diverse. Most of the pieces hail from graduates of the Fine Arts department, but the fields of interior design, business management and business marketing are also represented, among others.
“The first event we did to promote the achievements of our alumni was a book exhibit. Last year, we did a film festival for alumni that are producers or directors, and this year we thought, why not do an art exhibition,” says Abdallah El Khal, executive director of the Alumni Relations Office.
Lebanese Dutch visual artist Shirine Osseiran lives in London and had three of her digital prints in the exhibition.
“The pieces I submitted were my latest work, and I had just showed them in London, so it was an intuitive decision to submit them to the LAU show as well,” she said.
“My major was interior design but I have been painting since my childhood and aspired to become an artist. Art is my love and passion and Mozart’s words were always in my head: ‘Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.’”
LAU comes from a position of strength in fine arts, with a tradition of artistic excellence in theatre, fine arts and film.
Many of the artists flew in from overseas to attend the opening event on May 7, during which President Joseph G. Jabbra honored them.
“This exhibition speaks volumes about the many talents of our graduates, the varied ways they see the world, their approach to the challenges we all face in a globalized and complex world, one in which we all need art to keep us civilized,” he said.