Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fahimeh Amiri's Fine Art Dazzles and Demystifies

I am proud to announce the opening of my friend Fahimeh Amiri's first solo exhibition at Finch Lane Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah. The show will run until March 2nd.

Fahimeh has a breadth of experience as an artist, which began in her youth in Tehran as a student of the School of Fine Arts and as apprentice to the great Iranian master miniaturist Hossein Behzad. She has illustrated several children's books and currently teaches private art lessons to Salt Lake City youth.

Fahimeh states that her current work is an in depth depiction of women's lives under the influence of Islam from ancient times to the present day. I would add that past meets present in her paintings. Walking into Finch Lane gallery is like stepping into ancient Persepolis, in the desert valley between Shiraz and Yadz, Iran. Images on the walls evoke processions of subjects bearing gifts to the 5th century Persian King Cyrus the Great (author of the first human rights charter). A replica of this clay cylinder written in cuneiform is housed in the United Nations. The images of Persepolis are juxtaposed with those of everyday life, including vibrant depictions of women socializing in a hookah den or plunging into the traffic-clogged streets of Tehran.

To read an article about this exhibition featured in Utah Arts Magazine, visit:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Interested in International Literature?

I am one of three newly appointed Washington State Ambassadors to The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), the American section of the International Board on Books For Young People (IBBY), which is a nonprofit organization founded to promote international understanding and good will through books for children and adolescents. It's patron organizations are the Children´s Book Council (CBC), the American Library Association (ALA), the International Reading Association (IRA), and the National College of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Conferences are held nationally (usually in the fall) and internationally every other year. I recently attended the 2011 Conference in Fresno and would recommend attending the 2013 Conference in St. Louis, MO, to anyone interested in promoting reading around the world, books with multicultural themes, translated works and award winners from other countries. USBBY and IBBY are also involved in special projects, such a sponsoring libraries in developing countries and donating books to children in crisis. About 250 educators, librarians and authors attended the Fresno gathering representing six continents. Please see my recent blog post about the conference and the Brazilian illustrator I met, Roger Mello:

More details about USBBY and IBBY can be found at: and

Please consider joining me as a member in 2012!