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Student receives unique art from Iran

HCC art student Bernadette Cash received a unique package in the mail, a piece of art from Iran.

Not only did this artwork come from a unique location, it was personally created for Cash by Master of Arts student, Mohaddeseh Toubaei from Soureh University in Tehran.

Cash was one of the Heartland art students who participated in the Global Art Project in the spring of 2014, a program where students create art that represents global peace and mail them to students in another country. The recipient is encouraged to send back their own artwork symbolic of peace.

The exchange is kind of like a glorified international pen-pal experience. However, treasured pieces of art are traded instead of letters. According to globalartproject.org, each participant keeps the art sent to them as a gift of global friendship.

Jane Camp, associate professor of painting and drawing at HCC, decided to give her students the opportunity to participate in the Global Art Project after several showed interest. “I’ve done this before with groups of students, but prior to this year I hadn’t done it since 2008,” Camp said.

"The risk of the project is you may not receive anything back. It is still worth it to participate though because it brings us together, huddling in anticipation," explained Camp.

Camp and her students were thrilled to receive a copper metalwork piece from Toubaei in Tehran, Iran. It features a graphic logo combining the letters of the word "peace" in English and Persian languages. According to Toubaei's letter, the art includes the Eslimi pattern, which is considered one of the most beautiful and traditional Iranian patterns. The metalwork also features the wings of a dove carrying an olive branch in its beak, which is a common symbol of peace.

Prior to receiving the metalwork from Toubaei, Cash sent a diptych consisting of two silver gelatin prints. “After developing them in a darkroom, I blue toned the photographs to give them a cool, watery feel – like the ocean,” Cash said.

Entitled Seashore, the artwork was inspired by the peace Cash feels when she sees water. “When I was a young child, I moved to different places where I always lived near the sea. As an adult, I always keep sand, shells and pebbles as souvenirs from beaches whenever I travel,” said Cash.

It’s safe to say Cash will cherish the metalwork forever as it has such a unique story. The Global Art Project is something Camp will encourage future students to try.

Many wonder, what kind of art might Heartland students receive next?