Back Home in Your New Home at the Kranzberg Art Center Gallery

    By Jayne Ballew

    “Back Home in Your New Home” is the newest exhibit at the Kranzberg Art Center Gallery. The exhibit features two Palestinian American women’s ideas about home. Both Saj Issa and Kiki Salem are greatly influenced by their multi-cultural backgrounds.

    “The idea behind the show is to sort of encompass how it feels to live in diaspora so we wanted to bring different imagery, different themes of what we find in our homes here in the west while also knowing that all of them were inspired by what our families left behind back in Palestine,” said Kiki Salem.

    “In the 80’s is when a lot of families from Palestine began to immigrant to America and her family and my family immigrated around the same time and they grew up together in Palestine as well as in St. Louis,” said Saj Issa. “It’s amazing to see and watch and have our families come back from Palestine into a new home and that embodies what the art show is about.”

    The artist use traditional art forms to create contemporary content.

    “I primarily work in the field of ceramics and she works in fibers and so it was a perfect collaboration and compliment to work in both the primary fields of craft that Palestinian art portrays,” said Issa. “It was like working with the backbone of creating this unified thought between us.”

    “Back Home in Your New Home” is part of the Kranzberg Art Center Gallery’s Chaos Calendar. A jury selected five exhibits last year that fit the theme of Chaos and it’s effect on the human condition.

    “This is exactly the kind of exhibit that we were hoping to get. Saj and Kiki are both Palestinian Americans and this exhibit represents their ideas about trying to reconcile Eastern and Western influences,” said Diana Hansen Director of Galleries.

    The exhibit runs at the Kranzberg Art Center Gallery through May 15th.

    On May 17th, there will be a belly dancer, a Mehndi party where there will be henna artistry, food, and music that celebrates Palestine. This is part of the Kranzberg Art Center’s Pop Out Series, which takes place the third Friday of every month.

    “It’s diverse, creative expression that always responds to the current instillation so it changes every month,” said Airca Foster Community Engagement Director for the Arts Foundation on Pop Outs

    For more information visit

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