Adham Badawy

Adham Badawy’s painting “Girl with a Bird in a Boat” is part of "A New Legacy – Contemporary Art of Egypt” exhibit at Falls Church Arts that comprises 11 renowned Egyptian artists. All artwork is 40 x 60 centimeters, using oil or acrylic mediums on high-quality papyrus paper. The paper was made using the same methods as that of pharaonic times. July 13 through Aug. 11.

Falls Church Arts (FCA) is excited to be the first gallery to exhibit this unique collection of Egyptian Contemporary art by these wonderful artists from the Luxor, Alexandria, and Cairo regions of Egypt. These artworks were created over the last several weeks on papyrus especially for this exhibition, the first of its kind in the U.S. Most of these artists have never painted on papyrus before and enjoyed this ancient medium.

Moushera Maaraba of the Divine Arts of Egypt Project and Barb Cram of Falls Church Arts, Inc. have collaborated since January to develop this project and the logistics, concept and final exhibition. The exhibit is entitled, "A New Legacy – Contemporary Art of Egypt.” It is the first international collaborative art project for Falls Church Arts and the first for Maaraba’s Divine Art of Egypt Project here in the US.

Project background

This Divine Art of Egypt Project started as a concept in January 2019 with the main goal of introducing contemporary Egyptian art to other cultures. It was very important for Maaraba to have a platform that could link the ancient Egyptian legacy that is known all over the world to the Egypt she knows and loves today. To that end, she challenged a group of established artists with a single task—to communicate with our friends in the USA with their art, using a familiar ancient medium, papyrus paper.

Historically, papyrus paper was written on by scribes as a means to educate and inform people. Papyrus paper was a dominant medium of information that transcended time to help link us with ancient Egypt. As the driving force for our initiative was to educate and transfer knowledge between modern and ancient Egypt, we found that having Egyptian artists create paintings on papyrus paper was the perfect way to incorporate all of our goals in one unique creation—to introduce and educate our friends about Egypt today with this contemporary art on papyrus.

Maaraba met with each artist separately to discuss this idea and they were all eager to participate. Their enthusiasm was encouraging and they began to produce the art on the Egyptian papyrus. Some of the artists had never used papyrus as a painting support, but they were pleasantly surprised and really connected with it. For others it took some trial and error, but they all eventually connected their medium with the papyrus and were fascinated how different it is from canvas or paper and

how it was affected by water. After a short period of experimentation, each artist came up with their desired results in either oil or acrylic.

Maaraba also enlisted the support of the Egyptian Embassy to share knowledge of this project and through their contacts assure maximum outreach to those in the various communities in the Washington, DC, area.

Falls Church Arts (FCA) is a Falls Church Virginia based nonprofit that functions to provide exhibition space and home for emerging artists, arts programming, and studio arts classes for adults and youth. FCA is actively involved in the civic life of the community and was a leader in bringing arts programming to the public.

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