New Mural Celebrates the City
EVENT: Jan 9 at 1 PM
Ghadah Hussien, a graphic designer and artist from Iraq, created a mural for Almadina Market, located at 2325 Parade Street. It features iconic architecture from Syria, Iraq, and Erie. This is the third mural at a New American owned market funded by a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. All are welcome to a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.
Masks and social distancing measures are required.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ghadah grew up in Baghdad in a family that supported her interest in art. “My father always made sure I had paper, paints and markers. When I turned 16 I was old enough to earn some money to support my family and I worked in a flower shop. It started me on the path of being a designer. I then got a degree from the University of Baghdad in fine art and then got busy with getting married and starting a family. Because of the war, I had to leave Iraq. Thanks to the U.S. government, I was able to come here to Erie. I brought my young daughter. It was just the two of us and I had to start my life with a new language and culture.” Ghadah eventually went back to school and earned an Associates Degree in Graphic Design from the Erie Institute of Technology.
As part of a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation, Erie Arts & Culture has sponsored three murals on New American owned markets. The first, a mural inspired by Sudanese Henna, is located at Lake Erie International Market. The second, at the UK Market, celebrates African, Iraqi, and South Asian women. Ghadah chose to work with Almadina Market at the corner of 24th and Parade Street. She explains, “Almadina’s owner speaks Arabic and is also from Iraq. I like the location. The store is very clean and the owner cares about what it looks like. Almadina is the Arabic word for the city so I made a graphic collage of buildings in Iraq, Syria, and Erie. Almadina customers are from lots of different countries. This mural shows them something from their old homeland and something from their new life in Erie.”
Mohammed Alnasari, one of the owners, opened the store in 2017. He is delighted with the result. “We are not just a store. We are a place of culture. Our products attract people. We have kitchen supplies, pictures from Iraq and Syria, tons of spices, incense and other goods imported from Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria. When people come here, they feel at home. This mural is not just beautiful, it is important. The outside of the building now reflects what we have on the inside. Ghadah is a very talented artist!”
Kelly Armor, Erie Arts & Culture’s Director of Folk and Traditional Arts states, “I love that Ghadah didn’t make one panel about Eastern architecture and the other about Erie. She chose to mix all the elements together. You see Syrian buildings and musical instruments next to the Boston Store and the Erie Art Museum. This mural shows that our cultures can, and do, cohabit peacefully.”