Sharq is a nonprofit art space
Mike Nelson

Mother Egypt / Golden Nubia

The World of the Nile from the Mediterranean to the Sahara

An exhibition of photos curated by Mona Sherif Nelson

Sharq is proud to announce that this exhibition has been chosen as part of the citywide Los Angeles Islamic Arts Initiative (LA/IAI)  which runs from September to December 2014 and involves 30 local arts institutions. Sharq will also host a series of talks on Nubian and Egyptian culture. Check the LA/IAI website http://laislamarts.org/ for all the programs of the initiative.

Abu Simbul

     Abu Simbul , Egypt 1989     Michael Nelson

!! Celebrating Sharq's 10th Anniversary !!

Reception:  2 to 6 p.m   Saturday, Oct 11, 2014

Artist's Talk:  4 p.m.

Exhibition Continues: Oct 12 - Nov 16 by appointment


The Exhibition: Mother Egypt / Golden Nubia the World of the Nile from the Mediterranean to the Sahara is an exhibition of stunning photographs by award-winning news photographer Michael Nelson.  These images of life, art, and architecture along the great river document both the rich and varied ancient cultural and the modern Islamic heritage of two countries / regions which have lived in a symbiotic relationship for millennial.  Of unique interest are Nelson’s photos of the special art created by Nubian women, who as brides are expected to decorate the front of their new homes.

The Photographer: an international photojournalist who has spent more than 30 years shuttling between the Middle East and the United States, Michael Nelson started his career with UPI in Beirut, Lebanon in 1981 and has been posted in Beirut, Brussels, Cairo, and Los Angeles.   Among the stories Mr. Nelson has covered are the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf Wars, the Palestinian Intifada, the Israeli Invasions of Lebanon, and famines in Ethiopia and Darfur as well as US presidential campaigns, the World Cup, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the World Series, and the Oscars. 

The Curator: Mona Sherif-Nelson is the daughter and heir of Nubia’s cultural leader, Mohi Eddin Sherif, known as The Father of the Nubians.  She has spent a lifetime studying, documenting, and promoting Nubian Culture and language, and attended the university in Cairo, where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Art History.  Her thesis focused on the art produced by Nubian women, who historically have been responsible for painting the fronts of their houses with symbols and narratives. 

Sharq:   For ten years Sharq has functioned as an educational art space devoted to the works of bicultural artists whose roots lie in the world of Sharq (the East). It has been a non-profit (50lc3) since 2011.  Donations are fully tax deductible and should be made out to The Somerset Foundation - for Sharq. 

Special event:  Tuesday, Oct. 28 - 6 p.m. Pacific  Palisades Public Library.  A slide show and lecture by photographer Michael Nelson and curator Mona Sherif Nelson about their experiences along the Nile, as well as the arts, architecture, and tumultuous history of Egypt and Nubia, ancient and modern.  Admission is free.

Sponsors:  This exhibition is sponsored in part by Canon U.S.A. Inc, the Pacific Palisades Women's Club, and donations from friends of Sharq.  On our tenth anniversary, we would like to dedicate this show to the  memory of BARBARA BREGER, a strong supporter of the gallery since its inception. .Thank you all for your support.


Malika Sqali

Latitude 34 - Photographs


Chellah (Roman ruins) - Rabat, Morocco 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Reception: 3 to 7 p.m. - ARTIST'S TALK 5 P.M.

Exhibition Continues: June 30th - July 29 by appointment
The Project:
Latitude 34 is a visual project that grows out of Moroccan-born photographer Malika Sqalli's first encounter with Los Angeles in 2010. Despite vast differences from her home town, Rabat, LA seemed familiar. Learning that both cities are on the 34th parallel North, she was seized by the idea of photographing along this imaginary demarcation line around the globe in order to share what she could learn about the similarities and difference in human cultures.

The Exhibition:
To date Sqalli has shot images in Morocco, the US (Georgia, Los Angeles), Japan (Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and China (Xian). She has begun a parallel project along the 34th South, visiting Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, New Zealand and Australia.

The Places:
Along with landscapes and cityscapes, Sqalli has created especially for Sharq a series of works in which photos are overlaid with a mosaic screen pattern called “Masharabiya” in Arabic. This kind of screen is part of Moroccan tradition and widespread throughout the Middle East. It acts as a way of filtering culture, history, and experience.

The Artist:
Malika Sqalli attended the Ecoles de Beaux Arts in Montpelier, France. Her photos have been exhibited in Morocco, several European countries, and Korea. Parts of Latitude 34 were shown last year in both Rabat and Atlanta, Georgia.



Youth Art Express 2012


Mona Khan, Popistan, 2012 (Image of Noor Jehan)

Curators: Sadaf Ahmed & Raeesa Tarr

Opening Reception: 
Saturday, December 1, 2012 -- 2 to 7 p.m.
Exhibition runs through December 6, 2012

Bergamot Station, Suite D5
2525 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Contact: 310 586 9789 / 310 359 2090
YOUTH ART EXPRESS 2012 showcases the works of a new generation of visual artists whose roots lie in the culture of South Asia. Working in a variety of styles and media, they explore the contemporary realities of South Asia, America, and our globalized world.

Participants include Farah Ahed, Sadaf Ahmed, Asna Habib, Sana Haroon, Khalid Hussein, Kamal Khan, Mona Khan, Dario Mellado, Irfan Mirza,Yousra Qadir, Adam Rasheed, Nadia Rawjee, Kite Sparrow, Sara Suleman, Yasmine Suleiman, and Arezo Yassai.

The opening on December 1 will feature a POETRY READING by Mehnaz Sahibzada, and a RAFFLE of artworks donated by the participants.

This exhibition is a collaboration between Sharq and Zanbeel Art


April 2012

Three Artists / Many Worlds

An Exhibition of Works by


Reception:  3 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 28, 2012

Exhibition Continues: April 28 - May 20 by appointment

(310) 459-6041

Ashen Ovsepjan was born in Armenia and emigrated to Germany where she taught, worked, and exhibited as a designer, photographer, and artist before coming to Los Angeles. A world traveler, her mixed media works begin with the captured images of her memory, using sources such as photos and mixing them with other artistic media. This technique, she likes to say, mirrors the different cultures in which she<92>s grown up and the many different languages she speaks.

Khalid Hussein was born in Saudi Arabia, grew up in both the Middle East and the US, and received a BA in Fine Art and MA in Islamic Studies from UCLA. He works in a variety of media, focusing on representations of race, identity, history and violence. His paintings, exhibited in art galleries and cultural centers in California, imitate the cities of the ancient world, superimposing multiple images, styles, and cultural referents, collapsing barriers between past and present, east and west.

Noah Haytin was born in the Bay Area and earned his MFA from California State University at Long Beach. He won a Fulbright grant to Morocco, has traveled and exhibited internationally, and now splits his time between Marrakech and California. Interested in the fluid nature of identity, he creates collages in what he calls a menagerie of lost and found imagery from traditional drawing and painting and the digital domain, juxtaposing the modern and the ancient.


September 2011

The Afghans: Pictures of Resilience, 2001 - 2011


Reception:  3 to 6 p.m.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Artist's Talk: 4:30 p.m.

Exhibition Continued September 11 - 24 by appointment

(310) 459-6041

PETER BUSSIAN is a photographer and filmmaker who has spent much of the last 25 years documenting refugees and other international development issues. He has worked in more than twenty countries and has been commissioned by aid organizations such as the UN, The International Rescue Committee, CARE, Action Contre La Faim and many others. His photographs have appeared in media outlets including the New York Times, Paris-Match, the Oprah Winfrey Show and Foreign Assistance in Focus, a photography book. He has received several awards of his work from the International Photography Awards (Lucies) and Interaction.  Bussian also frequently works as a media advisor to international organizations such as the UN, NGOs and foreign governments. He received a BA in philosophy from the University of Colorado and studied film at the Anthropology Film Center in Santa Fe, NM.

Peter Bussian first went to Afghanistan in May, 2001 when the Taliban gave him permission to "show the world the real Afghanistan." Over the past ten years, he has gone there every year to document the incredible resilience of the Afghan people, who have known nothing but war for thirty years. The photographs in this exhibition were taken in most provinces of Afghanistan as well as in the border region of Pakistan over this ten year period. Currently, he is developing a feature film project set in Afghanistan.


Women in Diaspora:  May 17, 2008 3-7pm

This exhibit featured the following artists:

Doris Bittar              Lidia Shaddow                       Nuha Sinno

  Palestine                       Israel                                    Lebanon 

Doris Bittar
Baghdad Bride 12x12

DORIS BITTAR’s series "Stripes and Stars" represents the American flag, the most profusely patterned flag in the world, as it encounters the most profusely patterned cultures in the world, those from Islamic lands as seen in matrix, floral, or calligraphic designs. September 11 created in her not only a deep sense of morning and loss, but a feeling that American and Arabic cultures were jarringly merged within her. Bitar’s loyalty, alienation, and anger began to emerge as symbols and patterns layered in her mind. The resulting works embody a dichotomy that is both oppositional and ambiguous, one that seeks an alternate reality or narrative without the use of figuration. "Stripes and Stars" marries seemingly oppositional icons to probe intertwined concepts of loyalty, identity, nationalism, and power.

DORIS was born in Baghdad of Lebanese and Palestinian parents who immigrated to the United States when she was a child. She received an MFA from UC San Diego, and has exhibited her work in numerous shows across the United States and in Italy. She is active in Jewish-Palestinian dialogue groups and has written for such publications as Al Jadid. She is a lecturer at UC San Diego and has taught at the American University in Beirut.

Lidia Shaddow
Drive to Studio 4'x5 '

LIDIA SHADDOW is influenced by Islamic, Indian, and Western abstract art. Her canvases undergo many changes, manipulations and layers until finally the elements settle into harmony much like the Eastern and Western cultures in which she grew up. She works intuitively from memory and imagination, and thrives on the unknown and spontaneity. Her recent paintings are inspired by the drive to her studio in Santa Monica through Topanga Canyon and along Pacific Coast Highway. The heavy textured mountains, plants, flowers and weeds attract her attention, creating magical scenes that inspire her to experiment with textures and lines.

LIDIA was born in Israel to a Tunisian mother and an Iraqi father, and immigrated to the United States at the age of 14. She trained as an illustrator and designer, and earned a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Her works have been exhibited widely in Southern California and most recently at Pomegranate gallery in New York.

Nuha Sinno
Untitled 24"x24"

NUHA SINNO is taken by the notion of the Arabic language as art. Her work pays tribute to her love of the language and for the rich legacy of beauty and elegance that is the Arabic alphabet. Her paintings consist of intricate lines and colors that coalesce into abstract renditions of Arabic words and their meanings. She feels that these rich constructions reflect and speak of her life as an Arab woman.

NUHA was born in Beirut and graduated in 1980 from the Lebanese University of fine Arts in Beirut. She worked in Lebanon as an interior designer until she immigrated to the United States in 1984. Her art work has been shown in a number group shows in Lebanon and the United States.

Previous Exhibitions

Tahir Fatah Exhibit10/02/04
Kamran Moojedi Exhibit 3/05/05
Rudik Ovsepyan Exhibit 6/25/05
Susan Moss Exhibit 7/15/06
Tal Yizrael Exhibit 5/5/07
Women in Diaspora  5/17/08