Boundaries, an exhibition featuring artworks by Soulaf Abas, will be on display in the Marian University Art Gallery (MUAG) located in the Michael A. Evans Center for Health Sciences from August 22-October 21. An artists’ presentation and reception will be held on Monday, September 19, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the MUAG. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.
Boundaries is inspired by the physical and conceptual barriers placed between the artist and her home. Soulaf was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. She moved to the United States in 2006 to study fine arts at Indiana State University. Five years after her arrival, the Syrian Revolution/Syrian Civil War began. In 2014, Abas went to Jordan to work with Syrian children at multiple refugee camps. While at one of the refugee camps, Soulaf was only six miles from the Syrian border. Her home and her family were a ten-minute car ride from the camp. The only thing that stood between Soulaf and her home was a border. On that day, ten minutes away from her home, Soulaf felt the weight of that border. A border that was loaded with memories and weighed down by its own impossibility.
In her paintings, Abas invites the viewer into a world of blended watercolors and blurred boundaries. Watercolor flows like water flows in nature. Soulaf methodically draws black outlines to slow the flood of memories but not to stop them. Those boundaries are created out of necessity to parse that moment and moments like it when the flow of water drowns us.
Soulaf has exhibited nationally and internationally. She has received multiple awards and residencies for her work including the Social Justice Residency in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and ELCE grants from Indiana State University. Soulaf Abas is an assistant professor of studio arts at Rose Hulman University in Terre Haute, Indiana, where she lives with her two dogs, cat, and many plants.
The MUAG is located on the north end of the second floor of the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine on the Indianapolis campus. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays. Please contact Crystal Vicars, director of galleries, at email@example.com or (317) 955-6665 for additional information.