Museum Confers National Acclaim on Labeez.org Contributor

Hassan's 'Ancient Arabesque' interpretation of traditional welcome will be part of permanent collection at the Dearborn, Michigan-based Arab American National Museum.
Artist Sam Hassan's "Ancient Arabesque" creation
Artist Sam Hassan's "Ancient Arabesque" creation

An artwork by Labeez.org contributor Sam Hassan has been chosen for the permanent collection of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Hassan serves as a correspondent for Labeez.org in addition to his duties as art director for the Los Angeles Garment & Citizen, a member publication of the website. Hassan also designed the logo for Labeez.org.

Directors of the Arab American National Museum recently selected Hassan's artwork — a 40-inch-by-40-inch ornamental painting in the Ancient Arabesque style that he counts as a specialty — along with several others by artists who responded to a national call for entries.

The artwork highlights the Arabic phrase "Ahlan wa Sahlan," which translates to welcome, in English. Variations of the phrase are commonly heard by visitors to homes where Arabic is spoken. The artistic interpretations of the phrase will be prominently displayed as a greeting for visitors to the museum.

Hassan is a native of Jablah, Syria, who several years ago emigrated to the Los Angeles area, where he now lives with his wife, Jessica, and the couple's two-year-old son, Zain. He is a recent graduate of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, where he earned an associates degree in Visual Communications/Graphic Design.

Hassan describes Ancient Arabesque as a genre that "takes inspiration from nature, combining symmetrical designs with rich, natural colors and using a unique blend of materials to emboss elements of the designs to create a dynamic texture."

Hassan said that that he is "honored and humbled" by the Arab American National Museum's selection of his work, adding that he seeks to create art that offers common ground for all.

"Ancient Arabesque holds the capability of communicating that we are equal as human beings who are able to respect differences among us," Hassan said. "I hope that my art will help us see differences as a means to enrich our lives rather than a reason to fall into conflict."

The selection of Hassan's artwork is the latest recognition for his Ancient Arabesque creations. The American Friends Service Committee, also known as the Quakers, recently highlighted Hassan's work at an exhibit titled "Colors of the Arab World" and offered for public viewing at the organization's offices in Downtown Los Angeles. A selection jury at the University of St. Thomas more recently chose two of Hassan's pieces for an exhibit titled "Sabeel: Artistic Journeys from Arab Lands to America." The exhibit is scheduled to run from March 8 to May 24 at St. Thomas University's campus in St. Paul, Minnesota. More information on Hassan's art is available at his website at www.samhassanart.com.

Jerry Sullivan is editor of the L.A. Garment & Citizen.

Artwork image courtesy of Sam Hassan.

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