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Artists Explore Culture & Immigration In 'I Contain Multitudes'

Friday is January Gallery Night. It's a time when museums and gallery spaces around the city showcase mainly local and regional artists — but also national and internationally known artists, as well. In the years since it was created here, it has become a big deal, both for the artists themselves and for the people who turn out for the quarterly event.

Credit photo courtesy of the artist
Nina Ghanbarzadeh

One of the exhibits that opens Friday evening is called I Contain Multitudes. The exhibition features 10 female artists, some based here, some elsewhere, and their work that explores the idea of identity, culture, and the the immigrant experience in America.

Milwaukee artist Nina Ghanbarzadeh is originally from Iran and immigrated here 18 years ago. She’s the organizer of this exhibit, which comes out of her own experience of having a foot in both cultures.

"I wanted this group of artists to really reflect upon this concept: what does it mean to be an American, coming from a different culture?" she explains. "To me it's really important to keep that heritage, that culture, but also show how you respect and how you value the American freedom we have in this country."

In addition to Ghanbarzadeh's work, I Contain Multitudes also includes work by Farida Hughes, Nida Bangash, Ifrah Mansour, Susan Armington, Hend al-Mansour, Helen Zughaib, Kimberley Joy Roth, Fawzia Khan, and Roya Farassat. The exhibit is on display at the Frederick Layton Gallery at MIAD through March 19.

You can find WUWM’s Teran Powell’s series, I'm An American, here.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.