Lebanese American University


Renowned Emirati artist features paintings at LAU

Painter Samar Al Shamsi traveled to Beirut from Abu Dhabi to exhibit a small collection of her work at LAU’s Fine Arts Building last week.

Banners with the image of this painting by Emirati artist samaralshamsi-exhibit Al Shamsi were hung around LAU's Beirut campus to promote an exhibition of the artist's work in August.

Al Shamsi says often the inspiration for the ideas and colors used in her paintings comes to her in her dreams.

Al Shamsi says the hands in this painting of hers represent the various hands in Arab world and the divisions that exist within them.

Rows of Al Shamsi's paintings grace the walls inside a room transformed into a gallery space in the Fine Arts Building.

Al Shamsi poses next to her paintings on the opening day of the exhibition at the Fine Arts Building at LAU's Beirut campus.

Members of the LAU community dropped by to check out Al Shamsi's paintings at the opening of the weeklong exhibition in Beirut.

Al Shamsi says the horses in this painting represent freedom.

Click on any photo above to view all seven images

An exhibition featuring the works of renowned 28-year-old Emirati artist Samar Al Shamsi made its way to the Beirut campus for a one-week showing this week.

Twenty of the painter’s portraits decorated the walls of a room inside the Fine Arts Building where a steady stream of curious students, faculty and staff has taken advantage of the display.

Al Shamsi’s work presents a variety of themes including nature, emotion and politics.

One portrait depicts nine hands, some overlapping others, appearing scarred, fragile and weak. Al Shamsi explains that the hands represent those of Arab presidents and kings, and the work was meant to depict the divisions between Arab countries. “We Arabs are not united,” she says. “We are not one hand.”

Al Shamsi says her work is mainly inspired by everyday occurrences, often by accidents.

“But most of the time,” she adds, “I take my inspiration from dreams. I dream the portrait already complete, with all of the colors and everything in place.”

Al Shamsi was born in Beirut to Emirati parents but moved back to Abu Dhabi as a child. She picked up painting as a hobby during her childhood years and began pursuing it professionally at the age of 16.

Al Shamsi also has a passion for interior decoration and has an impressive role as the managing director of Sketch Interior Design, a hip Abu Dhabi-based interior design firm.

Certain themes and figures reappear in many of her works but when asked to pick a favorite, Al Shamsi can’t choose one. “All of them,” she says.

The soft-spoken artist’s paintings were first displayed in Lebanon earlier this year at the Ministry of Tourism in Beirut. She has previously featured her works at exhibitions in Dubai, Cairo and Paris.

The exhibition will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Thursday, August 20 at the Sheikh Zayed Hall of the Safadi Fine Arts Building, Beirut campus.


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