View Full Version : Arabic Calligraphy lecture and workshops in New York City

Rose Queen
02-21-2007, 01:14 PM
From one of the book art lists I subscribe to:

Greetings from the Center for Book Arts:

Please join us in March for special programming in conjunction with Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Artist Books.

On Friday, March 9th at 6:30 pm, we welcome Mohamed Zakariya, who will give a lecture titled Arabic Calligraphic Script and the Book Arts.

Zakariya began working with calligraphy in 1961. He took his first lessons from the Egyptian artist Abdes-Selam Ali-Nour in 1964 while in Morocco. Mr. Ali-Nour encouraged him to study the literature of the art and to become a professional calligrapher. In 1984, with the encouragement of Dr. Esin Atil, curator of Islamic Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Zakariya took the first of many trips to Istanbul. With the direction of Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, director of IRCICA, he began his lifelong study with Hasan Celebi and the late Dr. Ali Alparslan. He has received ijazas from both of them.

Zakariya makes most of his own materials and tools, such as knives, burnishers, ink, and colors. He prepares his own ahar papers by dying, coating, and burnishing them and makes his own ebru paper. Zakariya also does his own illumination (tezhib) in his own style, making each work entirely his own with no collaboration or partnership-except in the calligraphy itself, which he hopes reflects the methods of his teachers. Regarding his artistic concepts, Zakariya believes in experimenting with light and color and form to embody both meaning and objective. In this way, he hopes to demonstrate the dual ideas of simplicity found in complexity and complexity found in simplicity. He gives calligraphy lessons twice a month and presents demonstrations and lectures around the United States on calligraphy, its literature, its masters, and its techniques. The most recent exhibition of his work was at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington, on view from September 21, 2006, through February 17, 2007.

We will also hold a two-weekend workshop with Mohamed Zakariya, as well as his long-term student Elinor Holland, for participants to gain a hands-on introduction to Arabic script:

An Introduction to Arabic Script in Two Parts: The Arabic Script has been used as a vehicle for languages in the broader Islamic world for centuries. Early Muslims developed calligraphy to convey the Qur'an and other meaningful texts and this tradition became the high art of Islamic culture. This art includes a wide variety of styles and applications and is continued up to the present time in its many permutations. This workshop is essentially a drop from an ocean; a glance at an art that could take lifetimes to master. The Arabic alphabet will be introduced, as will traditional tools and a simple alphabet in addition to slides and tales of the great Ottoman master calligraphers.

Two weekends: March 3-4, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4pm - Elinor Holland
March 10-11, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4pm - Mohamed Zakariya
$425 members /$450 non-members.

ELINOR AISHAH HOLLAND is one of the few Americans to study Islamic calligraphy in the traditional method of the Ottoman Hattat (calligraphers). She is a student of Master Calligrapher Mohamed Zakariya. Although she has not yet received her "ijazet", or diploma, an achievement requiring many years of study, with the permission of her teacher she has been offering programs introducing Islamic calligraphy to adults and children across the US and Canada. Holland also practices Roman script calligraphy. She likewise teaches and accepts commissions in this art. She is a past board member of the New York Society of Scribes and is an active member of the calligraphy community in New York City.

You can RSVP and register for the workshop by calling (212) 481-0295.

I hope you can join us.
Sarah Nicholls
Program Manager
The Center for Book Arts
28 W. 27th St. 3rd fl.
New York, NY 10001
(212) 481-0295

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