Announcing the FALSE IMPRESSIONS: Cultural Outreach Program and Washington, DC Exhibition Launch
Using Art to Open Minds and Discover New Perspectives on Arab cultures and, in particular, Tunisia, Birthplace of the Arab Spring - Launch May 4th in Washington, DC
Tunis, Tunisia / Washington, DC (PRUnderground) April 17th, 2012
Announcing the FALSE IMPRESSIONS: Cultural Outreach Program, Using Art to Open Minds about Arab Cultures
Exhibition Launch May 4th in Washington, DC
Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of the FALSE IMPRESSIONS: Cultural Outreach Program (www.FalseImpressions.org) and the companion art exhibition which will launch on May 4th at the Hillyer Art Space (Dupont Circle) in Washington, DC. As a growing community of over 1.2 million in the U.S. alone, the cultural and political force of Arab-Americans is great, yet often overlooked. This can be attributed to stereo-typing and gross cultural generalizations about Arab cultures. The FALSE IMPRESSIONS: Cultural Outreach Program presents us with an opportunity to start fresh by using art to open minds and discover new perspectives on Arab cultures and, in particular, Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring.
This non-profit multi-media educational campaign is centered around the painting series, FALSE IMPRESSIONS, by artist Rachel Manley who was inspired by her years of experience living as a foreigner in Tunisia. Rachel began work on this series about a month before the Jasmine Revolution actually began in January 2011.
Ms. Manley recalls the origins of the painting series, “I remember exploring the area of La Goulette one weekend trying to find inspiration, taking notes, photos and so on. There was no talk of revolution at that point. Then, that Wednesday, we were suddenly put under a severe curfew and people were protesting in the streets. By Friday, President Ben Ali was gone .”
Her work on the series took on new found depth and importance when President Ben Ali was forced out of power on January 14th due to massive protests. This event would set in motion protests throughout the Arab world collectively known as the Arab Spring.
“It has been remarkable to witness the crumbling of the Ben Ali regime happen so quickly and with so little violence,” said Ms. Manley.
Developed and directed by Ms. Manley, the overall program includes a website (www.FalseImpressions.org) rich with information, a traveling art exhibition and detailed lesson plans/educational tools designed specifically for the program and available for FREE to educators on the website. A book is also planned.
The traveling art exhibition will launch in Washington, DC in May, where the painting series FALSE IMPRESSIONS will be featured at NIN9, a non-profit gallery at the Hillyer Art Space in Dupont Circle. Opening reception May 4th, 6-9pm; exhibition will run until May 25th.
In November, the exhibition will be hosted by The CARRACK Modern Art, a non-profit gallery in Durham, NC.
In each location, the organizers are actively reaching out to local schools to let them know about the exhibition and free educational tools available. With the help of donor support, the goal is to bring the program to as many locations as possible and make the educational materials available to schools and colleges across the country, starting a national and eventually a global conversation on the many different cultures that are collectively known as Arab.
To learn more or to become a sponsor, please visit: www.FalseImpressions.org
About the Artist, Rachel Manley
Rachel Manley is an artist, originally from North Carolina, now living in North Africa. In addition to numerous upcoming exhibitions, her FALSE IMPRESSIONS series about Tunisia is the centerpiece of a non-profit cultural outreach program which educates local communities about Arab cultures. Her Sketchbook series (CAROUSEL, GUIDE TO BEING AN EXPAT) has been featured in a national tour and is part of the Brooklyn Art Library permanent collection. In her role as the Fine Arts Partner for Save the Cord Foundation, Rachel is responsible for the Young Artists Program. Her painting, BIRTH, is the flagship image for educational campaigns conducted by the Save the Cord Foundation. Rachel holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and HEC Paris. Website: www.RMANLEY.com
About FALSE IMPRESSIONS: Cultural Outreach Program
The FALSE IMPRESSIONS: Cultural Outreach Program (FI:COP) is a non-profit multi-media educational campaign (website, exhibition and book) centered around the FALSE IMPRESSIONS painting series by Rachel Manley. The series focuses on Tunisian culture and the Arab Spring. Using the exhibition of this series as a platform, FI:COP is a mobile forum hosting open public discussions and a variety of resources on modern Arab culture and current events in the Arab world. Website: www.FalseImpressions.org