Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery is currently hosting “Muslim/American, American/Muslim,” an exhibition by New York photographer Robert E. Gerhardt. The exhibit explores the Muslim experience in America.
In the spirit of Gerhardt’s project, the Department of Art and the Quality Enhancement Plan have partnered to present a series of events that provide a forum for dialogue. The series, free and open to the public, continues Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. with a presentation by Emad Al-Turk and Okolo Rashid, founders of the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson, Mississippi. The duo will speak about the history and mission of the institution.
The museum was founded in 2000 by a group of Jackson-area Muslims who identified the need to educate the public about Islamic history and culture, and the contributions of Muslims to world civilization. The museum’s mission is to dispel misconceptions about Muslim cultures and promote mutual respect and understanding. The program was developed by a team of national and international scholars, experts and community members.
The museum’s exhibitions have sought to highlight the diversity of Muslim cultures with exhibitions on American mosques, Moorish Spain and its legacy in Europe and the West, and the literary tradition of Timbuktu.
The International Museum of Muslim Cultures is open to the public Tuesday-Friday, as well as by appointment. It offers personalized tours for schools and private groups.
Al-Turk, who holds master’s degrees in civil engineering and business administration, worked as an entrepreneur and executive in the engineering and construction business. He has a long career in civic service, serving on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations.
The final installment of the series is a public screening of the film “Arranged,” which centers on the unlikely friendship between an Orthodox Jew and Muslim teacher in New York. The screening will be held at the FWACG beginning at 5 p.m.
The FWACG is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed weekends, holidays and during semester breaks.
For more information on the department of art, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/art/, or contact 662-846-4720. For updates and announcements of upcoming events, follow Delta State Art Department on Facebook, or join the email list.