Contain and Serve
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To Contain and To Serve: A Dialogue in Calligraphy and Ceramics

is a collaboration between Arabic-Persian calligrapher Arash Shirinbab and ceramicist Forrest Lesch-Middelton. The dialogue centers on the interplay of hospitality, morality and justice in contemporary cultural and media landscapes, resulting  in a series of calligraphy-inscribed ceramics inspired by the Persian ‘Nishapur’ tradition.


The Artists at Work

Arash Shirinbab and Forrest Lesch-Middelton

Architectural Tiles

Artistic Tiles


The Collection on the View

Small Plates





The objects are at once grounded in tradition while in dialogue with contemporary issues and voices. Read More About the Project.

To Contain and To Serve project is made possible in partnership with Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC) and is funded by a grant from the Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund and supported by a Generous grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Learn More.


See the Work in Action