" Najjar Abdul-Musawwir is an internationally acclaimed artist who has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe. He is a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. When he is not creating impressive works of art, or teaching college students; he can be found working with “dis-engaged youth” and their families helping them to discover their creative voices.
Najjar’s work for the community is two-fold. It is an important aspect of his faith as a Muslim but also because it allows him to foster in others, what has helped him survive, and surpass “assumed” limitations in his own life. To any and all who will listen, Najjar will say- “art saved my life.” He was a robust artist throughout his childhood, but laid his talents to the wayside in his late teens; he reconnected with his childhood affection in his twenties when he made the decision to pursue an undergraduate, and later a Master of Arts degree in Fine Arts at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Artistically Najjar’s style has been described as abstract and abstract expressionism. His unique eye and canvas manifestations awarded him a coveted artist-in-residence with the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts in Detroit, Michigan in fall of 2009, and at the Museum and Gallery Tuanku Fauziah at University Science Malaysia in Summer of 2011.
Najjar’s academic distinctions include the Rickert Ziebold Trust Award (1992),invited by the MacAuthur Foundation as a member of Illinois artist’s advisement team (1995), and the distinguished Judge William Holmes Cook Endowed Professorship (2009)." -- Sol Cyrans
In this non-Post-Black era, there is a move to erase or eliminate the use of the terms Black, African-American, etc. in the labeling of artists/artist's works in fine art and historical institutions. The problem is the way conversations are constructed about the African-American experience; meaning, 1. Self-hate, 2. Skin-color, 3. Fix-in, 4. Contributor, 5. Historian, and my favor, 6. Black-ideology? I took some of my university graduate art students to a museum to view several works by…Continue
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