provided to Santiva Chronicle
BIG ARTS is celebrating the new Dunham Gallery with the opening of renowned international artist Mally Khorasantchi’s exhibit “Time for Joy,” the show’s debut. It opens Saturday, Jan. 25, with an artist talk by Khorasantchi at 5:30 p.m. immediately followed by an artist reception, during which guests can enjoy the show and meet the artist. All BIG ARTS Fine Art Receptions are free to attend and feature complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres.
“We wanted to open the new gallery with an artist that’s really something special,” said Programming and Gallery Manager Lauren Huff,. “Mally was the perfect fit! Her work is big, colorful, internationally known and echoes the natural beauty of our islands.”
Khorasantchi, a German immigrant who settled in Southwest Florida in 1992, has had a passion for art since she was a young child. She studied art at Malschule Hubbelrath in Duesseldorf, Germany under noted German artists Barbara Boehringer and Wolfgang Eckart, who helped nurture her artistic development. Her work is featured in permanent collections at The Baker Museum in Naples, Fla.; The Frauenmuseum Bonn in Bonn, Germany; The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; and at Florida Gulf Coast University in Estero, Fla.
“We came in 1991 on a trip to South Seas Island Resort the first time we visited Florida and Sanibel. My husband and I fell so much in love with the beauty and nature of this most beautiful Island, that we decided to move to Florida permanently from Germany. We made a down payment on a house in Naples and moved here as immigrants in 1992,” said Khorasantchi.
That connection with the island and the opportunity to be the first artist displayed in BIG ARTS new gallery was an exciting opportunity that couldn’t be passed up. “I can’t emphasize enough how honored I feel to be the first artist in BIG ARTS Dunham Gallery and I’m very, very grateful!” commented Khorasantchi.
“Since BIG ARTS donors have made an extraordinary contribution to the Sanibel art scene through building this wonderful center, it is my obligation to deliver my highest quality work that I am able to produce,” she continued. “It makes a statement to the quality of art that should live and be exhibited in BIG ARTS wonderful facility. I have produced specifically large and happy paintings to enhance the festive, happy opening.”
Khorasantchi’s work uses color and scale to capture elements from nature in interesting and breathtaking ways. “My creative process is, at the moment collages, the combination of oil and cutouts on paper or canvas,” Khorasantchi said about her creative process in Time for Joy. “This is my favorite working process, using the shapes from nature and our Florida surroundings. In a world full of negative news, I try to focus on the positive, fully aware that climate change and the unruly behavior of my fellow humans are a difficult part for our environment. I stubbornly insist that we all can do our part to repair our mistakes. With joy, happiness and a lot of care, we are able to turn bad things into a splendid future.”
The exhibit will be on display until March 1. Gallery hours are on BIGARTS.org or call the box office at 239-395-0900.