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Janet Aly

United States of America
Former CSU Sacramento Art Club President Janet Aly’s art consists of intricate overlapping layers of pattern and texture using uniquely Islamic designs. Traditional Middle Eastern geometric patterns, and Southeast Asian vegetal motifs, weave their way through her paintings. She creates design maquettes for her paintings using sketches, photographs, collages, and digital imaging programs. As a female member of a misunderstood religion, Janet Aly seeks to expose misconceptions about a woman’s role in Islam and promote general religious tolerance, compassion, and god-consciousness. With her art she seeks to affect progressive social change by addressing the underlying conditions of societal problems at both the local and global levels. Janet Aly has resolved to become an agent of social change by correcting gender-based misconceptions of Islam and promoting widespread religious tolerance. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Art from California State University Sacramento in 2004, Janet Aly re-focused her efforts on creating new artworks and participated in various exhibitions at local galleries including Solomon Dubnick Gallery, Tower Framing and Design Gallery, Archival Framing and Cool Cat Gallery. Some of Janet Aly’s most notable accomplishments include being interviewed for an Independent Film, “What it Takes: Sacramento Women in the Arts” in 2004, and her inclusion in the International Muslim Artists Exhibition, Oct.-Nov. 2007, at the New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History in Louisiana. Janet will will participate in the upcoming Liturgical Arts Festival: Come Creative Spirit, May-June, 2008, Springfield, Illinois, and the God Loves Beauty Festival (sponsored by IMAN-International Muslimah Artist Network) in late 2009. Her work will also be featured in a forthcoming article about Muslim women artists for Azizah Magazine. At different times in my life I have experienced a feeling of vertigo and breathlessness from being in a high place, like the edge of a cliff or the top of a tall building. In my travels to the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Egypt, I visited countless historical mosques, monuments and museums. It iss not unusual for me to feel this way in the breathtaking presence of extraordinary environments, whether they are natural formations or great architectural achievements, such as the Mosque of Amr Ibn El-Aas in Cairo, Egypt. My mind boggles as it imagines the forces that bring about such structures. One of my greatest artistic inspirations came from visiting Richard Serra’s “Torqued Spheres” at the LA MOMA. Walking through his massive artworks I realized that representational art was no longer my focus…I was more enthralled with the art experience than the art object itself. My art bridges the gap between ideologies by exposing the parallels of Abrahamic, Dharmic, and Taoic religions. In my artworks, intricate interlacing of tessellations, star polygons, and arabesques seem to possess qualities that go beyond mere ornamentation. In the world of art and architecture, extraordinary configurations of pattern and form are uniquely Islamic. Patterns gently urge me to jump headfirst into a universe alive with profound meaning, and that is their purpose. I prefer to think that my art is influenced by my beliefs but not defined by them. I integrate “traditional” designs with stereotype-breaking content. While my artworks can stand alone as abstract constructions, I am more interested in drawing out discussion and dialog surrounding art rooted in modern religious conflict. With Digital Geometries (Digital Artworks, 2004) I combined complex arabesques in simulated three-dimensional space. As a Muslim female I expose misconceptions about a woman’s role in Islam and promote religious tolerance, compassion, faith, hope, and god-consciousness. My audience consists of adults and children, members of the three prevalent Abrahamic religions, as well as followers of the Eastern Dharmic religions of India, and the Taoic East Asian religions. I hope to bridge the perceived gap in theological concepts by creating a stimulating environment in which dialog and exploration of our commonalities can occur. -Janet Aly
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