Hayat Washington

Manal Deeb is a renown Palestinian Artist living in the Washington D.C. area that has been recognized for her high caliber visual art around the world. She showcased her work around the US, Europe and the Middle East. Her exhibits have drawn many art lovers, especially those who enjoy Middle Eastern and Palestinian styles. We had the pleasure of interviewing Manal Deeb and asked her few questions about her background and artwork.

HW: How and when did you start your art career?

There is no specific time in my life to point to for when I began making art.  Since I was a child I was drawing and painting on the walls of my parent’s home in Ramallah, Palestine.  It took a more serious turn when I came to the US in 1986 and started studying studio art at UIC in Chicago.  I became a “professional” artist after I studied Art and Psychology at GMU in Fairfax, VA.  Then making art became a self-therapy treating myself from living away from home and my parents.

HW: What style of art do you paint and what is the message behind your paintings? 

Throughout my journey, I produced many forms of art including acrylic painting, drawings, and digital art.  My exploration of digital art was very exciting since it was a tool to reveal my instant emotions in a quick, yet effective way.   In general, my art carries messages about humanities, women’s issues, freedom, Palestine & bridging religions and peace.

HW: How do you showcase your art? 

I am the only Arab American visual artist at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA.  I have my studio there,  #1011 in building #10 of the center which contains all my artwork.  Visitors have access to the studio during the week and the weekend.  I also had many solo and group exhibitions at public and private galleries and museums in major US and European cities.  Recently, my artwork has been exposed to the Middle East in cities like Doha, Amman and Cairo.  I also have two websites: www.manaldeeb.com and www.ygalleri.com for virtually showing my artworks.

HW: Who appreciates your art?

Interestingly, all people from different backgrounds.  I had so many encounters with non-Arab art lovers who appreciated my artwork and related to the messages it carries.  And of course, the Arab American society members are appreciative too, since they see the metaphors I relay in my art.  On the other side, journalists and academics have shown interest in exploring my journey in the arts and how it related to the current global issues.  Recently, my artwork has been studied in many graduate studies dissertations across several universities in the world, from Brazil, to Tunisia, to France to Egypt.

We would like to thank Manal for taking the time to offer some insight about herself and her art to the Hayat Washington readership. We wish Manal the best in her career as a leading Palestinian and Arab artist.

‭ ‬حياة‭ ‬واشنطن‭ ‬

منال‭ ‬ديب‭ ‬هى‭ ‬فنانة‭ ‬فلسطينيّة‭ ‬مرموقة‭ ‬تعيش‭ ‬في‭ ‬منطقة‭ ‬واشنطن،‭ ‬والتي‭ ‬اشتهرت‭ ‬بفنّها‭ ‬المبدع‭ ‬في‭ ‬جميع‭ ‬أنحاء‭ ‬العالم‭. ‬ولقد‭ ‬عرضت‭ ‬عملها‭ ‬في‭ ‬جميع‭ ‬أنحاء‭ ‬الولايات‭ ‬المُتحدة،‭ ‬أوروبا،‭ ‬والشرق‭ ‬الأوسط‭. ‬وقد‭ ‬جذبت‭ ‬معارضها‭ ‬العديد‭ ‬من‭ ‬عُشاق‭ ‬الفن،‭ ‬وخاصة‭ ‬الذين‭ ‬يستمتعون‭ ‬بالأسلوب‭ ‬الشرق‭ ‬أوسطيّ‭ ‬والفلسطينيّ‭. ‬لقد‭ ‬حظينا‭ ‬بشرف‭ ‬عقد‭ ‬لقاءٍ‭ ‬معها،‭ ‬ولنسألها‭ ‬أسئلةً‭ ‬قليلةً‭ ‬حول‭ ‬خلفيتها‭ ‬وفنها‭.‬

ح‭.‬و‭: ‬كيف‭ ‬ومتى‭ ‬بدأت‭ ‬حياتك‭ ‬المهنيّة‭ ‬كفنانة؟‭ ‬

لايوجد‭ ‬هناك‭ ‬وقت‭ ‬مُحدد‭ ‬في‭ ‬حياتي‭ ‬يُمكنني‭ ‬أن‭ ‬أشير‭ ‬إليه‭ ‬كبدايةٍ‭ ‬حياتي‭ ‬الفنيّة‭. ‬منذ‭ ‬أن‭ ‬كنت‭ ‬طفلة،‭ ‬كنت‭ ‬أرسم‭ ‬وألون‭ ‬على‭ ‬جدران‭ ‬بيت‭ ‬والديّ‭ ‬في‭ ‬رام‭ ‬الله،‭ ‬فلسطين‭. ‬واتخذ‭ ‬الأمر‭ ‬مُنحنى‭ ‬جاد‭ ‬عندما‭ ‬جئت‭ ‬إلى‭ ‬الولايات‭ ‬المُتحدة‭ ‬عام‭ ‬1986،‭ ‬وبدأت‭ ‬في‭ ‬دراسة‭ ‬الفنون‭ ‬في‭(‬UIC‭)  ‬شيكاغو‭. ‬واتخذ‭ ‬الأمر‭ ‬مُنحنى‭ ‬أخر‭ ‬لأصبح‭ ‬فنانةً‭ ‬مُحترفة،‭ ‬بعد‭ ‬أن‭ ‬درست‭ ‬الفن‭ ‬وعلم‭ ‬النفس‭ ‬في‭ (‬GMU‭)‬في‭ ‬فيرفاكس‭ ‬وبعد‭ ‬ذلك‭ ‬أصبحت‭ ‬ممارسة‭ ‬الفن‭ ‬علاجًا‭ ‬ذاتيًا‭ ‬لنفسي‭ ‬كوني‭ ‬أعيش‭ ‬بعيدًا‭ ‬عن‭ ‬الوطن‭ ‬“فلسطين‭ ‬ووالديّ”‭.‬

ح‭.‬و‭.:‬ما‭ ‬هو‭ ‬نوع‭ ‬الفن‭ ‬الذي‭ ‬ترسمينه،‭ ‬وما‭ ‬الرسالة‭ ‬وراء‭ ‬لوحاتك؟‭ ‬

خلال‭ ‬رحلتي،‭ ‬أنتجت‭ ‬العديد‭ ‬من‭ ‬صور‭ ‬الفن‭ ‬بما‭ ‬في‭ ‬ذلك‭ ‬الرسومات،‭ ‬والفن‭ ‬الرقميّ‭. ‬كان‭ ‬استكشافي‭ ‬للفن‭ ‬الرقميّ‭ ‬أمرًا‭ ‬مُثيرًا؛‭ ‬حيث‭ ‬صار‭ ‬الأمر‭ ‬أداةً‭ ‬للكشف‭ ‬عن‭ ‬مشاعري‭ ‬اللحظية،‭ ‬وطريقة‭ ‬سريعة‭ ‬وفعالة‭ ‬في‭ ‬نفس‭ ‬الوقت‭. ‬وبصفة‭ ‬عامة،‭ ‬يحمل‭ ‬فني‭ ‬رسالةً‭ ‬حول‭ ‬الإنسانية‭ ‬وقضايا‭ ‬النساء‭ ‬والحرية‭ ‬وفلسطين‭ ‬والتواصل‭ ‬بين‭ ‬الأديان‭ ‬من‭ ‬اجل‭ ‬السلام‭.‬

ح‭.‬و‭.:‬كيف‭ ‬تعرضين‭ ‬فنّك؟‭ ‬

أنني‭ ‬الفنانة‭ ‬العربية‭ ‬الأمريكيّة‭ ‬الوحيدة‭ ‬للفنون‭ ‬البصرية‭ ‬في‭ ‬مركز‭ ‬الفنون‭ ‬في‭ ‬لورتون‭. ‬ولديّ‭ ‬الاستديو‭ ‬الخاص‭ ‬بي‭ ‬هنا‭ #‬1011‭ ‬في‭ ‬مبني‭ #‬10‭ ‬للمركز،‭ ‬والذي‭ ‬يحتوي‭ ‬جميع‭ ‬أعمالي‭ ‬الفنيّة‭. ‬يستطيع‭ ‬الزوار‭ ‬دخول‭ ‬الاستديو‭ ‬خلال‭ ‬الأسبوع‭ ‬وفي‭ ‬العطلات‭. ‬ولديّ‭ ‬أيضًا‭ ‬العديد‭ ‬من‭ ‬المعارض‭ ‬الفرديّة‭ ‬والجماعيّة‭ ‬في‭ ‬أماكن‭ ‬العرض‭ ‬العامة‭ ‬والخاصة،‭ ‬وفي‭ ‬متاحف‭ ‬المُدن‭ ‬الكبرى‭ ‬سواء‭ ‬في‭ ‬أمريكا‭ ‬أو‭ ‬في‭ ‬أوربا‭. ‬ومُؤخرًا،‭ ‬تم‭ ‬عرض‭ ‬أعمالي‭ ‬الفنيّة‭ ‬في‭ ‬الشرق‭ ‬الأوسط‭ ‬في‭ ‬قطر‭ ‬والأردن‭ ‬ومصر‭. ‬ولديّ‭ ‬أيضًا‭ ‬موقعان‭ ‬هما‭ ‬www.manaldeeb.com‭ ‬و‭ ‬www.ygalleri.com‭  ‬لعرض‭ ‬أعمالي‭ ‬الفنيّة‭. ‬

ح‭.‬و‭.: ‬من‭ ‬يُقدر‭ ‬فنّك؟

‭ ‬الأمر‭ ‬المُثير‭ ‬أن‭ ‬الأفراد‭ ‬من‭ ‬مُختلف‭ ‬الثقافات‭ ‬يقدرون‭ ‬فني‭. ‬ولقد‭ ‬حظيت‭ ‬بإهتمام‭ ‬العديدة‭ ‬مع‭ ‬مُحبي‭ ‬الفن‭ ‬من‭ ‬غير‭ ‬العرب،‭ ‬والذين‭ ‬قدّروا‭ ‬أعمالي‭ ‬الفنيّة‭ ‬والرسائل‭ ‬التي‭ ‬تحملها‭. ‬وبالطبع‭ ‬تجد‭ ‬أن‭ ‬الأمريكين‭ ‬العرب‭  ‬يُقدرون‭ ‬عملي‭ ‬أيضًا؛‭ ‬حيث‭ ‬يعجبون‭ ‬بتعبيرات‭ ‬ومعاني‭ ‬أعمالي‭. ‬وعلى‭ ‬الجانب‭ ‬الأخر،‭ ‬فإنّ‭ ‬الصحفيين‭ ‬والفنانين‭ ‬أظهروا‭ ‬اهتمامًا‭ ‬في‭ ‬استكشاف‭ ‬رحلتي‭ ‬في‭ ‬الفنون،‭ ‬وكيفية‭ ‬اتصالها‭ ‬بالقضايا‭ ‬العالميّة‭ ‬الحالية‭. ‬مُؤخرًا،‭ ‬تمت‭ ‬دراسة‭ ‬أعمالي‭ ‬الفنية‭ ‬في‭ ‬العديد‭ ‬من‭ ‬مشاريع‭ ‬التخرج‭ ‬عبر‭ ‬العديد‭ ‬من‭ ‬الجامعات‭ ‬في‭ ‬العالم‭ ‬من‭ ‬البرازيل‭ ‬إلى‭ ‬تونس،‭ ‬ومن‭ ‬فرنسا‭ ‬إلى‭ ‬مصر‭.‬

نود‭ ‬أن‭ ‬نشكر‭ ‬منال‭ ‬لاعطائنا‭ ‬الفرصة‭ ‬لتسليط‭ ‬الضوء‭ ‬عليها‭ ‬وعلى‭ ‬أعمالها‭ ‬لقراء‭ ‬مجلة‭ ‬حياة‭ ‬واشنطن‭. ‬نتمنى‭ ‬لمنال‭ ‬الأفضل‭ ‬دائمًا‭ ‬في‭ ‬حياتها‭ ‬المهنيّة‭ ‬كفنانة‭ ‬فلسطينيّة‭ ‬وعربيّة‭ ‬مبدعة‭.‬