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Haggerty Museum of Art features MIAD alum for lecture

Two figures and a baby overlaid with zellige pattern in pastel colors.

“My Daughters + the Strands of Hair – Their Heads” by David Najib Kasir, 2022.

David Najib Kasir, ’01 Painting, will present his lecture “David Najib Kasir: A Conversation in Cultural Shapes & Landscapes” at Marquette University’s Haggerty Museum of Art on Tuesday, November 15th at 5 p.m. Kasir, a Milwaukee oil painter whose deeply personal work “surrounds the act of coming to terms with the challenges of family, life, love, and loss,” will speak to the topic of culture and the importance of representation. This lecture is presented in collaboration with Marquette University’s Center for Race, Ethnic and Indigenous Studies.

Oil painting of a destroyed building in background and zellige pattern over a figure carrying a child in foreground

“The Average Number of Broken Hearts in Occupied Diameter” by David Najib Kasir. Oil & acyrilic on panel, 2022.

In his recent artistic practice, Kasir draws on his parents’ experiences migrating to the United States from Syria and Iraq. His latest paintings spotlight the wars in Syria and engage viewers by asking them to understand and empathize with the millions of Arabs “now living in chaos and disarray.” Accomplished as both muralist and activist, Kasir combines imagery of Arab refugees and Syria with traditional colorful zellige tile patterns.

Building community, networking and supporting fellow artists are all vital to Kasir’s artistic practice. “Your career is a marathon and not a sprint… your practice must be a focus,” he counsels. In the years since he graduated from MIAD, Kasir notes how much the school has changed, “especially how it engages with art and public works.” Keep an eye out for Kasir’s work coming up in the Chicago Expo as well as various mural projects and two solo exhibitions scheduled for next year.

Kasir is represented by Var Galleries, which recently loaned MIAD one of his works for the “Then As Now: Woodland Pattern” exhibition in the Frederick Layton Gallery at MIAD. Keep up with Kasir’s work on Instagram (@davidnajibkasir) or his website and learn more about his upcoming lecture at Marquette.


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