Check out Mitra Kamali’s Artwork
Today we’d like to introduce you to Mitra Kamali.
Mitra, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I am an International artist with an Engineering background. I consider myself a citizen of the world. A few of my childhood memories back in my native Country of Iran, explain many of my character trades and the person I have become. I remember that in early elementary school, I used to enjoy creating little community models of towns with houses, schools, grocery store, ice cream shop, hospital, library, and parks. I was the painter of the town, and every time there was a feud or a disagreement in our household, I will try to make it better by making and giving out drawings to my family members and friends. I would also play challenging games of being a world traveler with my dog “Bettie” as my best friend and companion, imagining that our sofa was the coach stage carried by a horse. We had a very limited amount of water and food. I would test my limits in survival while in reality, I was living a comfortable household life in my home town of Tehran.
I immigrated to the USA to continue my science studies and pursue a career in Engineering according to the wishes of my parents, but my passion was always ART. It made me happy to paint. That was my “Heaven.” Unfortunately, In the late seventies, in the mist of the Iranian hostage crisis, life became challenging and a few years later following the arrival of my parents after 8 years of Iranian house arrest, as a means of providing to my parents and family, I put aside my passion for art and for years along with my two sisters we managed to make a new, comfortable life in our new adopted country of America. Thank God for all the challenging games I was training myself since my early childhood.
Things were getting better day by day, and a lot of the pressure to get the parents of adjusting to a brand new culture and way of life was now becoming an enjoyment of our newfound ways. With the Help of a booming nineties oil economy in Texas and thanks to my Petroleum Engineering degree, I would now finally take the time to travel, educate myself by attending art and cultural workshops and courses, I would paint again and show my Art around the United States and abroad as far as Japan, India, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Turkey, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Mexico and Hungary.
For my volunteer work at home for Texas Art student organizations, I was awarded the Marguerite Ross Barnett Award by the International student and the Council of Ethnic Organizations.
I was approached by the Institute for The Celebration Of Culture Diversity Through The Arts And Humanities (ICCD) to create The World Murals and the annual International Winterfest poster for the City of Scottsdale. The World project was exhibited at Civic Center Mall at Windows of the World Celebration of Diversity. I contributed seven murals with dimensions of 8×12 feet each, and they were at display at the Windows of the World Festival that brought thousands of visitors in the city of Scottsdale. I was acknowledged, recognized, and awarded by ICCD and also by the Great Scottsdale Mayor Herb Drinkwater. I was flying high. I was finally doing what I loved the most. Painting and actively being involved with the community.
I embraced a presented opportunity to attend art and cultural courses in South of France and Spain with the talented professor of French language and ballet dancer Marie France Goudard and her husband, American bullfighter, Artist and Poet Robert Ryan. While I was Showing my artwork in downtown Scottsdale at Lotus Eaters Gallery, I was invited to a cultural trip and exhibition in New Delhi, Bombay, Rajasthan, Agra in India.
Through my travels and cultural interactions, I learned that the essence of all people is the same in many ways and that we all want safety, peace, love, education for our kids and freedom regardless of our religion, gender, skin color, culture, and socioeconomic status.
I took thousands of photos during these trips, and upon my return, I painted nonstop. This time I was creating life-size genre paintings of 5’ x7’ feet of common people, a series I named “Human Interlude.” Many of these works were exhibited in public places and published in various magazines and newspapers; and most of the artwork are in private collections.
I started to work with the Cultural Arts Coalition in Arizona to bring art and culture to the community at large. In an effort to bridge cultures and to inform and educate others of my often misunderstood and often misrepresented Iranian roots and culture, I arranged for a talk and show at Arizona Humanities center about Twentieth-century Persian women contributors to the arts. “ Three Persian Hero Warriors” of last century Iran.
I exhibited numerously at public places including Sky Harbor Museum, Sun City Museum, Mesa Arts Center, Shemer Art Center and Museum, Herberger Theatre, Orpheum Theatre, Gammage Auditorium, ASU campuses and multiple galleries in Arizona, California, and Texas.
In 2017, I was honored by the Arizona Humanities with the title of “Arizona Humanities Scholar.” I am also a board member of the Cultural Arts Coalition Global connections, I am the Persian Cultural Director for Asian American Association of Arizona and also the Art director of the Arizona Persian Cultural Center (IASAz).
I am thankful to my Greek heritage husband Chris and our twin teenager boys at home for their understanding and support as I reach out to further pursue my mission as an ambassador of Art and Culture to these organizations and our community.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My latest artwork series is titled “Connection Series.” An attempt to portrait humans beyond gender and skin color.
I use inks, pens, acrylic, oil, pastel, and more importantly a “Fusion Enamel Art technique” that I developed when I was working as drilling engineer in the Deep Offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
I enjoy painting people as well as visually promoting awareness about EMPATHY and important universal subjects such as Environmental Awareness, Water Scarcity, and Human Rights. I value people’s feelings and concerns and try to express them with paint. I try to “unmask the MASK” we all wear at times to protect our inner feelings and to be accepted by our society.
I always look for new techniques in creating and expressing my ideas on canvas, wood, and paper.
How can artists connect with other artists?
Yes, an artist’s life often appears lonely in the eyes of others. In reality, artists are thinkers, like writers, and they need to be by themselves to sort things out in their mind. A great analogy is to imagine a clear surface of a placid body of water like still lake water. Any small particle or dust makes a ripple on that shiny surface, and the next ripple makes a new one, and the ripple compounds with a new one in an unlimited manner. This is how an artist mind is, it gets affected by everything and gets inspired by it all. The end result is a new creation!
We are all connected and continuously creating by our deeds.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I maintain a working studio and a gallery in my North Scottsdale home where I show by appointment only. Several of my artwork pieces can also be seen on my website at MitraKamali.com and my Facebook page: Mitra Kamali FineArtist.
Currently, my work is on display in the Sky Harbor Museum.
People can support by being empathetic, support humanity by volunteering their time, knowledge, and talents to their favorite causes that affect the Arts, Social justice, Equality, and Tolerance for others.
Website: Website: www.MitraKamali.com
Email: Email: MitraKamaliArt@gmail.com
Instagram: Instagram: Mitra Kamali Artist
Facebook: Facebook : Mitra Kamali FineArtist