raed al-rawi

Traveler Music 30"x24"

I had the honor of being placed next to painter Raed Al-Rawi when we vended at the LEAF Festival last month. It has taken me a long time to sit down and write about it because I wanted to make sure I captured just how moving it was to be next to his booth all weekend.  He was originally from Iraq, and now he lives in Charlotte with his wife Beth and two twin boys. He spent half of his life in Iraq and half in America. He describes himself on his website as "An American-Iraqi born in Baghdad-Iraq". 

I have never knowingly met someone who grew up in Baghdad. So when Raed told me this part of his story I was struck by the contrast of the image in my head of Baghdad and the gentle man standing in front of me who paints beautiful paintings about connections. Of course I rationally know that Baghdad is infinitely more complex than the limited newspaper-type pictures in my head~ but sometimes in this age of information overload, brains makes sweeping impressions and they stick. 

But now I have some new pictures to broaden my view of that area of the world. Of course, Raed is an American~ but somebody's roots are an important part of the story. And in this case his artwork speaks volumes and is the best kind of ambassador. 

Art can be powerful like that... carrying so many meanings at once. 
 Journey New Morning
 Journey 48"x60"

These were the thoughts that swept through me during that first conversation~ my lasting impression I have from the weekend is of making a new art-friend and appreciating his beautiful paintings. 
Wind 30"x40"
 Door n' Sky 12"x16"

Find out more about Raed Al-Rawi from his website HERE
(Thanks Raed for letting me share these images!)


Liz said...

oh wow! Truly beautiful work and a fascinating story! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing these amazing images and story. Also, thanks so much for your sweet message yesterday. I had a very full day at work, which was good because it kept me occupied, and a full day today as well, but I would love to talk and will call when I get a chance.
love you,