artists panel discussion
Meet the East African girls that created the artwork in Layers of the Hijab, the new guest gallery exhibit at the Columbia City Gallery. The girls will be participating in a panel discussion at the gallery on Thursday, March 14 at 7pm. This is your opportunity to hear directly from these articulate young women about the challenges they face as Muslim women in Seattle. We are collecting questions for the girls at the gallery — feel free to drop by and add yours or email it to the gallery. This event is free and open to the public.
The exhibit Layers of the Hijab, runs now through April 21. It features artwork by Mary Coss with students from the Cleveland High School East African Girls Art Workshop. This exhibit explores the complexities of East African girls navigating multiple cultures. This exhibit and panel discussion are sponsored, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Mary Coss has taught art in the underserved and at risk communities of Southeast Seattle for many years. She was inspired to take a closer look at the young women in the East African community. The artwork in this exhibit is one result of a two-year workshop at Cleveland High School with two separate groups of East African teen girls, engaging in conversations about life, culture, and religion while making art. She says, “I wondered if pairing conversations on ideology with art making may empower and allow the girls an opportunity to process their thoughts and feelings. Would this in turn, create an opportunity for these exploratory conversations and their subsequent thoughts to seep into the artwork that they make?” She set about to facilitate a conversation about the edge they walk between the traditional contemporary worlds of their Muslim home lives and the world of urban American youth that they experience at school. The resulting artwork is included in the exhibit.
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