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February 2 – December 10, 2016, Ceramic studio at Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California

Through the newly founded program at ICCNC called IC3 (incubating Creativity, Community, and Civic Engagement) and with the support of the Creative Work Fund, Arash set up an art/ceramic studio space at ICCNC to work on the “To Contain and Serve” project at ICCNC and engage the community through the process. He would usually prepare calligraphic pieces for the project and bring in tile pieces from Forrest’s studio to work on them and finish them in this studio. Although most of his work hours were during the week through which ICCNC is not normally open to the public, he would receive some visitors sometimes on Fridays (people who would attend the Friday prayer at the center) and would get a chance to talk to them about the project and ask for their input.


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March 12, 2016, Persian New Year (Nowruz) Festival at Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California

At Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, we set up a table at the Persian New Year (Nowruz) ceremony, displaying some of the first collaborative tests of transferring calligraphy on unfired ceramic pieces as well as a large design sheet that included several designs and calligraphic pieces for the ceramics. We dedicated a large space on that sheet for the community to reflect on the project and write down sentences, verses, or words that are dear to them and they would think it could be worthwhile to be included in our ceramic project.


March 16-19, 2016, Fiftieth annual National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts conference, themed “Makers, Mentors and Milestones” Kansas City, Kansas.

Forrest Lesch-Middelton exhibited a cross section of works, including a sampling of works in progress from the To Contain and Serve project, as an invited artist with the Kansas City Urban Potters at NCECA.


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March 26 to May 28, 2016, “Arabic, Language of Quran” art exhibition at Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California

With free opening reception ceremony on March 26. At this exhibition which was curated in partnership with the Islamic Art Exhibit, we exhibited several ceramic pieces, some designs and original calligraphy works prepared for the ceramics, and a big sheet pf paper for visitors to write down sentences, verses, or words that are dear to them and they would think it could be worthwhile to be included in our ceramic project.

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June 11-25, 2016, Penland School of Craft, Penland, North Carolina

Forrest taught a two week workshop for professionals on image transfer techniques, where he presented a lecture outlining the Creative Work Fund collaboration between he and Arash Shirinbab.

 

July 8-10, Palo Alto Arts Center, Association of Clay and Glass annual exhibition

Forrest Presented works developed through the “To contain and Serve” grant to the public at the annual ACGA exhibition.

 

August 5-7, 2016, American Craft Council exhibition, San Francisco, CA

Forrest Presented works developed through the “To contain and Serve” grant to the public at the annual American Craft Council exhibition in San Francisco.


 
 
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August 10, 2016, Calligraphy workshop at San Jose Public Library

At this Arabic-Persian calligraphy workshop by Arash, we displayed several finished ceramic pieces including some tiles and couple of plates to get feedback from the participants. This program was included and represented as part of the Asia Week program.


 

August 14 – 19, 2016

Forrest taught a one week workshop for professionals on image transfer techniques, where he presented a lecture outlining the Creative Work Fund collaboration between he and Arash Shirinbab.

 

October 12 – 16, Rochester Institute of Technology and the Flower City Arts Center

Forrest Lesch-Middelton exhibited and demonstrated a cross section of works, including a sampling of works in progress from the To Contain and Serve project, as an invited lecturer at RIT and exhibitor at the Flower City Pottery Invitational.

 

 
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October 22, 2016, University of San Francisco

This program at the University of San Francisco included displaying some of the ceramics we produced as well as a calligraphy demonstration by Arash.


 
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December 3, 2016 – January 11, 2017, Here Part 1, Annual Exhibition at the Berkeley Art Center

At this annual member group show, we submitted and exhibited one finished ceramic panel that included three sections, two were shattered in to pieces with the words “Peace” and “Trust” and the past one still remained with the word “Love”. All three sections had several Tweets from people around the world about what is going on in Syria and statements against war.

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December 4, 2016, Arts Against All Odds, Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California

At this cultural program which included art exhibit and representation as well as a major music concert, Arash and Forrest represented their work of the “To Contain and Serve” project to the community. They received a lot of interesting feedback, for instance how much people of the community enjoyed seeing a quote from Persian poets, Rumi and Khayam on ceramic pieces.

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March 11, 2017, Persian New Year (Nowruz) Festival, Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California

At this cultural program which included art exhibit and Bazaar, Arash and Forrest represented their work of the To Contain and Serve project to the community.


 

March 22-25 2017, Fifty-first annual National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts conference, themed “Future Flux” Portland, Oregon.

Forrest Lesch-Middelton exhibited a cross section of works, including a sampling of finished works from the To Contain and Serve project, as an invited artist with the Artstream Nomadic Gallery at NCECA.

 

 
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March 24, 2017, Oakland Museum of California, Persian New Year (Nowruz) Festival and Calligraphy Presentation

At this cultural program Arash performed a calligraphy demonstration and performance. He showcased samples of ceramic works from our To Contain and Serve at the Museum and gave description about the project to the visitors, sought feedback from them about the project and the content, and collected contact information of interested people for the final exhibition.

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October 7- November 12, 2017, The 6th Annual Juried International Exhibition of Contemporary Islamic Art at the Irving Arts Center, Texas

One of our pieces titled “Peace Wall” is accepted to this exhibition juried by Linda Komaroff the Curator of Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA).