Andrea (Ray) Boyle, Project Founder: Ray earned her B.A. in Comparative Religious Studies, Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies, magna cum laude, from Rutgers University in 2005. From 2007-2009 Ray lived and worked in the Middle East as an English teacher and Art Activist. Since 2009, she has worked as an Independent Arts Administrator, curating art shows, organizing fundraisers, and managing art programs in the Pacific NW and Northern California. She currently lives and works in Oakland, Ca as the Development Assistant for industrial arts school, The Crucible.
Becca Bernstein, Artist: Becca Bernstein earned a BA in Drawing, cum laude, at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She also studied at the University of Glasgow and interned at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Bernstein was selected by Southwest Art Magazine in 2008 as one of 21 emerging artists to watch. She has won numerous awards, including the George Sugarman Foundation Grant in 2007 for socially conscious artists and a 2009 artist grant from the Puffin Foundation. Her recent paintings are featured with fellow artist Gwenn Seemel’s in a book called Subjective, written by Dr. Richard Brilliant.
Beth Ann Short, Art Therapist: MA, ATR-BC comes from the Great Lakes region. She earned her B.A. in Art and English at Alma College and received her Masters in Art Therapy from Marylhurst University. Short is a nationally registered and board certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC) with the Art Therapy Credentials Board and also a member of the American Art Therapy Association. Currently Short has a small private practice at 100th Monkey Studios, but also teaches, creates and sits on panels to inform the public about the benefits of Art Therapy. She has worked in an array of community mental health settings as a QMHP, including: medical, outpatient, inpatient, juvenile justice, school-based settings and with at-risk youth. As an artist, Short has shown her art nationally since the 90′s, but has been making art since she was a small child.
Baher Butti, Cultural Broker: Dr. Baher Bhutti earned his PhD in Psychiatry from Baghdad University in 1995. He worked in Iraq as a psychiatrist, activist, and prolific writer until 2006 when his community activism made him a target of the emerging Iraqi militias. He found refuge in Portland, Oregon in 2007, was joined by his wife and children by 2009, and has since been working as a counselor, Iraqi refugee advocate, and community activist. In addition to working for the Lutheran Community Services, he serves on the Boards of the Center for Intercultural Organizing, Arab-Americans Cultural Center of Oregon, Advisory committee of Colored Pencils Art group, and is the founder of the Iraqi Society of Oregon.
Farooq Hassan, Artist: Born in Basrah, Iraq in 1939. He graduated from the Fine Arts Institute from Baghdad 1960, and from the Fine Arts Acadamy from Rome, Italy 1980. He has held many solo and joint exhibitions locally and internationally. His art work reflects the ancient city of Hatra’s Queens, moons, suns, magical and mystical feel in today’s artistic median. His thought process, technical painting experience, and clear foresight of the future has given his artwork originality in the Iraqi artistic community.
Jim Lommasson, Artist: Jim Lommasson is a freelance photographer and writer living in Portland,Oregon. He received the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize from The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for his first book, Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice & The Will To Survive In American Boxing Gyms. Time Magazine said about Shadow Boxers, “Both up to the minute and timeless, Lommasson’s pictures are also affecting, intricate and sometimes just glorious.” In 2009 Oregon State University Press published Lommasson’s Oaks Park Pentimento: Portland’s Lost and Found Carousel. He is currently working on a book and traveling exhibition about American Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and their lives after their return from war called Exit Wounds: Soldiers’ Stories – life After iraq and Afghanistan. The book will include Lommasson’s photographs, and photographs and writing by the participants.
Marwan Nahle, Artist: Marwan Nahle is a Lebanese-born painter and multi-media artist who has lived and worked internationally for the past 26 years. He has exhibited his work in Beirut, western Europe, cities across the United States and throughout the world. His paintings represent his lifelong physical and spiritual journey, combining forms and landscapes from his world travels into ethereal and mystical movements. In most of his work Marwan uses recycled materials, creating playful and imaginative collages and sculptures from found objects, images, and the material landscape of our lives.
Sarah Farahat, Project Collaborator & Artist: Sarah Farahat is an interdisciplinary Egyptian & American artist living in Portland, Oregon. Farahat holds a B.A. in Psychology from Occidental College and a B.F.A. in Intermedia Studies from Pacific Northwest College of Art. For several years Farahat has examined the political conversation between the United States and the Middle East–focusing on community, assimilation and public spaces. From Egypt to Palestine she has lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East as well as Senegal, Haiti, and Central America.
More wonderful collaborators:
Amira Dughri, Documentarian
Rolla Selbak, Film Director & Artist
Dawn Weleski, Project Collaborator