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USM to Host Free Public Talk by Artist Ahmed Alsoudani, Former Iraqi Political Refugee

Ahmed Alsoudani, Detail of Untitled, 2010, charcoal, acrylic on canvas, photo co

The University of Southern Maine Department of Art will present a free talk by artist Ahmed Alsoudani at 1 p.m., Friday, November 2, in Burnham Lounge, Robie Andrews Hall, Gorham. For more information, please call Carolyn Eyler at 207-780-5008 or see USM Art Galleries

Alsoudani's visit on November 2 will include visiting with USM studio art classes and international students as well as giving his public talk. His visit is co-sponsored by the USM President's Office and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

Alsoudani is a former Iraqi political refugee who, after defacing a Saddam Hussein mural in his Baghdad neighborhood as a youthful prank, was forced to flee and eventually settled in Portland. After graduating with a B.F.A. from Maine College of Art and an M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art, Alsoudani steadily gained recognition for his drawings and paintings that depict the horrors of war. Although currently a resident of New York City, Alsoudani remains deeply connected to the Maine College of Art and is appreciative of the opportunities he found in Portland. His engagement with this area expands with his visit to USM this November and a solo exhibition planned for next fall at the Portland Museum of Art: “Ahmed Alsoudani: Redacted.”

Alsoudani’s inspiration comes directly from his own experiences as a child, as well as his concerns over contemporary global conflicts.  Named to Forbes Magazine's "Watch List" as one of the most collectible emerging artists, his work has been included in museum exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar; and the Saatchi Gallery in London, England, among others. His art has been reviewed in Art in America, London's The Sunday Times and The Independent, Artnet, and other publications. Alsoudani's work is in the collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, the François Pinault Foundation Collection, the National Museum of Qatar and private collections around the world. He was featured in the 2011 Venice Biennale and is represented by the prestigious Haunch of Venison gallery in London and New York City.