About the Artist: Helen Zughaib
Helen currently lives and works in Washington, DC, as an artist. She paints primarily in gouache and ink on board and canvas. More recently, she has worked with wood, shoes, and cloth in mixed media installations.
Her work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States, Europe, and Lebanon. Her paintings are included in many private and public collections, including the White House, World Bank, Library of Congress, US Consulate General, Vancouver, Canada, American Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, the Arab American National Museum in Detroit, Michigan, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Her paintings are included in the DC Art Bank Collection, and she has received the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship Award in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. Her work has been included in Art in Embassy State Department exhibitions abroad, including Brunei, Nicaragua, Mauritius, Iraq, Belgium, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. Helen has served as Cultural Envoy to Palestine, Switzerland, and Saudi Arabia. The John F. Kennedy Center/REACH has selected Helen as a member of the 2021 Inaugural Social Practice Residency. Her paintings have been gifted to heads of state by President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “As an Arab American, I hope through my work, to encourage dialogue and bring understanding and acceptance between the people of the Arab world and the West, especially since 9/11, our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the more recent revolutions and crises in the Arab world, resulting from the ‘Arab Spring’ that began in late 2010, leading to the current war in Syria and the massive displacement of people seeking refuge in Europe, the Middle East, and America.
My work is ultimately about creating empathy and creating a shared space for introspection and dialogue. I ask the viewer to see through someone else’s eyes, to walk in another’s shoes. To accept the ‘other.’ To reject divisiveness. To promote acceptance and understanding and to reject violence and subjugation of anyone anywhere. To give voice to the voiceless, to heal, to reflect in our shared humanity.”