Sharq is an nonprofit art space in Los Angeles devoted to the work of bicultural artists with roots in Sharq – the East.
Sharq (which means The East in both Arabic and Farsi) was founded in 2004 by the directors, Nahid Massoud and Robert A. Rosenstone, with the aim of enhancing through the arts, our community’s knowledge and understanding of an area of the world in which the United States has been very much involved. The original Mission Statement explains its aim as a place for intercultural education and dialogue: : “Sharq is devoted to educating the public about the diversity and creativity of artists whose roots lie in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Sharq’s programs will include exhibitions of photos, paintings, prints and sculpture, readings by poets and novelists, music and film screenings.”
Over its thirteen years of its existence, Sharq has fulfilled that mission by presenting seventeen programs — ten exhibitions by visual artists (paintings, prints, photography), three readings by novelists and poets, two films, and two concerts. Artists involved, the majority of them American citizens, have had roots in the following countries: Iraq, Iran, Armenia. Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Mauritania. A few of the artists have been native born Americans who have spent considerable amounts of time in countries of the East, such as photographer Peter Bussian, who has worked with the UN in Afghanistan for ten years, or Berkeley native Noah Haytin, who spends six months of the year teaching art in Marrakkesh.