Islamic Art Festival

Islamic Art Festival: The Language of Exchange
Join us for a three-day celebration, with a special DMA Member event on November 15, exploring Islamic art and culture in honor of the DMA’s Keir Collection of Islamic Art. From talks to music performances to artist demonstrations, learn more about Islamic art and the influence it has had across cultures.

During the Islamic Art Festival, stop by the DMA Cafe or Socca, the DMA’s Mediterranean Cafe, for a bite to eat. In addition to the full menu, the DMA Cafe will offer dishes inspired by the Keir Collection, including Charred Chicken over Couscous Tabbouleh and kid-friendly veggie falafels.

All programs are FREE as part of the Islamic Art Festival. 

Wednesday, November 15
Thursday, November 16
Friday, November 17
Saturday, November 18

 
Wednesday, November 15

DMA Members Exhibition Talk
7:00 p.m., Horchow Auditorium 
DMA Members are invited to kick off the Islamic Art Festival: The Language of Exchange with a special lecture by Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala Alaoui of Morocco, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the USA. The program is presented in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Reservations are required.  

 

Thursday, November 16

Music Performance featuring American Bedouin 
6:00–8:00 p.m., Atrium
Incorporating styles from Africa, the Middle East, Greece, India, and Europe and mixing them with jazz and blues improvisation, American Bedouin creates an acoustical blend of rich textures, exotic melodies, and soaring virtuosity. 

Keynote Talk: Influence and Inspiration: Islamic Art in the Keir Collection
7:00 p.m., Horchow Auditorium
Spanning thirteen centuries and representing several continents, the Keir Collection presents Islamic art as a global tradition. Dr. Sheila R. Canby, Curator in Charge of the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will share highlights from the Keir Collection to illustrate the impact of cross-cultural exchange on Islamic art.

 
Friday, November 17
Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art 

Opening Performance 
6:00–7:00 p.m., Atrium
Kick off the evening with a musical performance by the Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir of Dallas (IMYC-Dallas) and the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Jazz Singers followed by a dance performance by The Jubilee Performance Group. IMYC-Dallas is a vocal art group of youth ages 14-25 aiming to provide a metaphor for unity in harmony. The Jubilee Performance Group is comprised of dancers and choreographers from the Ismaili Muslim Community depicting their diverse cultural heritage. Both groups are presented by the Aga Khan Council for the Central United States.

Prayer Space 
6:00–8:30 p.m., Tech Lab, C3
The Tech Lab, located in the Center for Creative Connections, will be available to use as a prayer space during the evening. 

Late Night Creations: Carpet Diem
6:00–10:00 p.m., Art Studio, C3
Get ready to be floored by the carpets of the Islamic world. Weave your magic into a community project, design a bookmark inspired by the intricate patterns of Islamic textiles, and create a miniature carpet to take home with you. Hosted by the DMA Teen Advisory Council. 

Spotlight Tour: Miniature Paintings
6:30 p.m., Meet at the main Visitor Services Desk
Artist Ambreen Butt will discuss the tradition of miniature painting and how she continues this age-old process in her own work. 

Late Night Talk: Keir Collection in Focus
7:00 p.m., Horchow Auditorium
Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir, the DMA’s Senior Advisor for Islamic Art, will highlight objects from the Keir Collection that focus on the diversity of art from the Islamic world.

Yoga for Kids! 
7:00–7:30 p.m., Center for Creative Connections 
Join our yogini, Nicole Payseur, for meditation, relaxation, and some very pretzel-like poses.

Family Story Time Under the Stars
7:30 p.m., Fleischner Courtyard
Venture out under the stars and take an imaginary journey to a land of golden domes and silver lanterns as we explore the beauty of Islamic art. Then create your own paper lantern to light your way home!

Performance in the Galleries
7:30 p.m., Asian Galleries, Level 3 Landing
Listen to music on the setar and poems of Rumi performed by Ali Razmi, one of Canada’s most respected Sufi musicians. Razmi is a gifted tar and setar player and composer who received his MA in Music from the Art University of Tehran in 2006.

Late Night Main Stage featuring the Nomad Dancers
8:00 p.m., Atrium
Inspired by traditions of India, Persia, Central Asia, Middle East, and Turkey, experience traditional folkloric dances performed by the Nomad Dancers. Based in Washington DC, Nomad Dancers is an educational and cultural organization, bringing international understanding and mutual respect among diverse communities, through artistic expression of world dance heritage.

Pop-Up Art Spot
8:00–10:30 p.m., Keir Collection of Islamic Art, Level 1
Looking for a hands-on experience in the DMA galleries? Visit the Pop-Up Art Spot and experience art in a new way. Learn how the repetition and overlapping of simple shapes creates intricate designs and patterns. Explore the cross-cultural connections in works of art from the Keir Collection and participate in a cultural exchange project with other visitors. 

Tour: Ceramics 
8:30 p.m., Meet at the main Visitor Services Desk
Art historian Michael Falcetano will discuss the rich history of ceramics in Islamic art and culture. 

Late Night Talk: Istanbul: City of Majesty at the Crossroads of the World 
Presented by the Boshell Family Lecture Series on Archaeology 
9:00 p.m., Horchow Auditorium
In his latest book, Istanbul: City of Majesty at the Crossroads of the World, author Thomas Madden paints a portrait of a city that for two millennia has been a cultural capital for people of all different backgrounds. Enjoy a brief history of this ancient metropolis where many objects from the Keir Collection were produced. 

Performance in the Galleries
9:30 p.m., Asian Galleries, Level 3 Landing
Enjoy music on the sitar and tabla performed by the Sangeet Millennium Duet featuring Amie Maciszewski and Shantanu Bhattacharya.

Late Night After Hours Music Showcase 
10:00 p.m., Atrium
Experience music from a variety of cultures with the Meadows World Music Ensemble, under the direction of Jamal Mohamed. This group combines traditional instruments from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America with standard Western orchestral instruments to create unique interpretations of traditional folk melodies. 

Insomniac Tour: Rock Crystal
10:30 p.m., Meet at the main Visitor Services Desk
Join DMA Manager of Adult Programming Jessie Frazier for a closer look at one of the Keir Collection’s rarest and most painstakingly crafted treasures, a medieval Fatimid rock crystal ewer that is one of only seven in the world.

Late Night Film: The Destruction of Memory
10:30 p.m., Horchow Auditorium
This documentary by Tim Slade examines the increasing threat of cultural destruction in Syria and Iraq and efforts to protect, salvage, and rebuild heritage sites. This film is not rated (2016, 85 min.).

Performance in the Galleries
11:00–11:45 p.m., Asian Galleries, Level 3 Landing
Enjoy music on the sitar and tabla performed by the Sangeet Millennium Duet featuring Amie Maciszewski and Shantanu Bhattacharya.

 
Saturday, November 18

Spotlight Talk: The Utilitarian Object in Islamic Art
11:30 a.m.–noon, Keir Collection of Islamic Art, Level 1
Join art historian Michael Falcetano for this short talk exploring objects from the Keir Collection that were made to be used in everyday life. 

Music Performance 
Noon–1:00 p.m., Atrium
Listen to music selections inspired by diverse global traditions and Islamic cultural heritage performed by the Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir of Dallas (IMYC-Dallas) and the Booker T. Washington Jazz Singers. IMCY-Dallas is a vocal art group of youth ages 14-25, directed by conductors who serve in a voluntary capacity under the Aga Khan Council for the Central United States, which is the social governance body of the Ismaili Muslim community. They will be joined by the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Jazz Singers. This group performs all styles of vocal jazz, including swing, Latin, pop, and blues and have been recognized in the prestigious DownBeat Student Music Awards for five of the last six years. 

Dance Performance
1:00–1:30 p.m. Atrium
Enjoy a dance performance titled One Another by The Jubilee Performance Group. This group is comprised of dancers and choreographers from the Ismaili Muslim Community and they created One Another on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan. This dance depicts the story of peoples from the countries of origin of the Ismaili Muslim community and goes on a journey through the lands of Syria, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Persia, India, and Pakistan.

Spotlight Talk: Patterns
1:00–1:30 p.m., Asian Galleries, Level 3 
Join author, educator, and artist Eric Broug for this short talk exploring the complex geometric patterns seen in Islamic art and architecture and how they are designed. Following his talk, Broug will demonstrate patternmaking beginning at 3:00 p.m. on the Level 3 Landing. 

Art Activity 
1:00–3:00 p.m., Art Studio, C3 
Create your own patterns inspired by the Keir Collection with artist Fariba Abedine, who will lead this drop-in, hands-on art activity. Iranian born, Abedine was exposed to the rich culture and art of Iran during her childhood. She currently lives and works in Houston, and her art has been exhibited at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas, Lawndale Art Center, and the Jung
Center Houston. 

Arabic Calligraphy Demonstration 
1:30–3:30 p.m., Concourse
Calligraphy is considered the quintessential art form of the Islamic world and appears in virtually every medium, from paper and ceramics to architecture and metalwork. See the details of this decorative script up close, and have your name written by a calligrapher from the Islamic Art Revival Series. One name will be written per visitor. 

Spotlight Talk: The Silk Road
2:00–2:30 p.m., Silk Road Gallery, Level 3  
Join Dr. Anne Bromberg, the DMA’s Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and Asian Art, for this short talk exploring the art of the Silk Road—a trade route through Asia and the Middle East that spread commodities, art, and ideas across vast distances.

Special Performance
2:30 p.m., Atrium
Listen to music on the setar and poems of Rumi performed by Ali Razmi, one of Canada’s most respected Sufi musicians. Razmi is a gifted tar and setar player and composer who received his MA in Music from the Art University of Tehran in 2006.

Spotlight Talk: Representation in Islamic Art
3:00–3:30 p.m., Keir Collection of Islamic Art, Level 1
Join Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir, the DMA’s Senior Advisor for Islamic Art, for this short talk exploring the presence of animal and human figures in Islamic art.  

Artist Demo: Patternmaking
3:00–4:30 p.m., Asian Galleries, Level 3 Landing
Artist Eric Broug will demonstrate the purpose and process behind the complex geometric patterning that adorns Islamic art and architecture. Discover how even the most ornate designs can be broken down into simple repeating patterns of shapes. 

Spotlight Talk: Artists and Anonymity in Islamic Art
4:00–4:30 p.m., Keir Collection of Islamic Art, Level 1  
Join Aditi Samarth, Professor of Humanities at Richland College, for this short talk exploring the historical role of the artist in Islamic art and why, contrary to Western art traditions, we often don’t know their names. 

 

The Islamic Art Festival: The Language of Exchange is underwritten by Dr. Haroon Rasheed and Mrs. Rania Mohamed. Programming created in partnership with the Islamic Art Revival Series, the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, the Aga Khan Council for the Central United States, and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. The Keir Collection of Islamic Art is presented by Kosmos Energy.