One of the bonuses of going to festivals in multicultural Toronto is meeting some interesting people you would not ordinarily encounter. I came across artist Samia Shaheen at a Muslim Eid-ul-Fitr celebration two years ago at the Metro Convention Centre. This is the festival at the end of the Muslim Ramadan month of fasting. She was a vendor, displaying colourful religious Arabic calligraphy.
Samia was friendly and talked eagerly about her work. Later I looked at her blog and discovered that she painted brightly coloured landscapes too. They were of whirling dervishes and places like Pakistan and Turkey which she has visited.
This month she is exhibiting her paintings at the Oakwood Village Library and Arts Centre, 341 Oakwood Ave. (near the Ossington subway station). The exhibit titled ‘Escape to Landscapes from Canada’ celebrates the beauty of the Canadian landscape this time. Samia will be there in person on Tuesday, November 19 from 4:30–6:30 pm.
It will be interesting to see her take on Canada with her passion for Cubism and colour. Look first at her paintings and explanations on http://theopeneasel.wordpress.com/ . Then decide whether or not you want to see her exhibition. I liked her “View from My Office Window” as a sketch and her later vibrant-coloured version of the same view of downtown Toronto. Her Château Frontenac in Quebec City was fascinating. She makes us see familiar scenes with new eyes. She adds life to flowers. With her Canadian landscapes yet to be seen, is she part of a new generation Group of Seven?
Let me know what you think. Ruth.