Sight Unseen

Curated by Alia El-Bermani

Curated by Alia El-Bermani
February 24 to March 25, 2017

Artists have long created works based on the observations of what they see.  For this issue of PoetsArtists I am interested in sharing representational works that look beneath the realities of the surface and reveal a greater, hidden significance.  These artists will be peering at the mercurial boundary between the known and the unknown.  It is in this space between, that the vibration of life, of existence cannot be seen but can be felt.  How do you represent what you cannot see?  How do you paint, draw or sculpt thought or emotion, the human spirit or the supernatural?  

Einstein once wrote, “The most beautiful experience we can have is in the mysterious.  It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and science”.  It is our ceaseless questioning that propels our creative endeavors and compels our viewers to pause and to feel union in the unknown.  This is where our visual language will transform to poetry.

So much of our daily lives have become superficial, from the thousands of virtual connections we call friends, to the hordes of advertising that bombard our senses.  As artists, it’s our calling to seek, and to instill deeper connections, to revel in a more meaningful existence.  Thru compassion for each other and the mysteries that tie us, we have the power to inspire.  We can have a profound impact on our society if we choose to look beneath and remind viewers of the wealth found within those depths.

I am asking a lot.  I am asking for you to seek a mix of what we see and know with what we cannot explain.  I am asking for you to tap your own soul and experience, to be vulnerable and imperfect.  Let your layered marks bear witness to the emotions that wash thru you during creation.  In this, you will take your viewer in and out of awareness of their own rise and fall of emotions, of breath.  Together there, we can feel a greater connectedness to each other and to the universe with which we are a part.  

The words ‘representational works’ can be read as broadly as you like.  Submitted works must be paintings, drawing or sculpture but in how tight or loose your interpretation of what is seen is up to you.


Abend Gallery Fine Art was established in 1990 and is located in the historic Wyman District of Denver, Colorado at the corner of Colfax and York. The gallery offers an extensive collection of fine art from fresh, contemporary works to traditional, representational paintings and sculpture by national and internationally recognized professional artists.

Our award-winning artists are recognized by major American art institutions and have received many awards including; awards of excellence from Oil Painters of America, the Pastel Society of America, the RayMar Award, Best of Show – PAAC, the Pastel Journal Grand Prize Award, the International Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art Award, Daley-Rowney and Gustafson Fund Award and more. Our artists are featured on a regular basis in publications such as American Art Collector, Southwest Art Magazine, Western Art Collector, American Artist, Art of the West, Fine Art Connoisseur, The Pastel Journal and Sculptural Pursuit.

Abend Gallery’s extensive fine art inventory includes a broad spectrum of mediums from oil, egg tempera, pastels, watercolor, encaustic, bronze, mixed medium and porcelain.  We specialize in complimentary in-home or office consultation, delivery and installation of fine original art.  Our expanded services include custom handmade framing, internet sales, monthly exhibitions of new works, opening receptions, demonstrations and workshops in all mediums.

Open year-round Tuesday through Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm. Special appointments for private consultations or event planning such as corporate receptions and weddings may also be arranged.

Tue - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Website: abendgallery.com

Artist, teacher and independent curator, Alia El-Bermani received her BFA in 2000 from Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach CA. This talented figurative painter has had several solo exhibitions as well as her work featured in numerous group exhibitions across the country.  Her paintings and drawings have been showcased in museums such as the Palm Springs Desert Museum in California, the Anchorage Museum of History and Art in Alaska, the West Valley Art Museum in Arizona, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto and the Greenville Museum of Art in North Carolina.  In 2015 her painting Paper Wishes was acquired by the Museu Europeu d'Art Modern, in Barcelona, Spain for their permanent collection. She is a seasoned instructor who has taught at both the college and workshop level.  She currently teaches ongoing classes at Red Canvas Studios in Apex, NC as well as workshops around the country.  She has been honored as a guest lecturer at several universities including East Carolina University, Meredith College, Laguna College of Art and Design and Texas A&M University.  Since 2001 she has occasionally taken on the roll of curator.  Ms. El-Bermani has coordinated several thoughtful exhibitions, the first titled About Paint featured seven artists who explore the various qualities, characteristics and essence of paint.  January 2017 will mark her most ambitious project as a curator.  The exhibition Women Painting Women: In Earnest, which features 34 contemporary, figurative artists will begin its museum tour, starting at Texas A&M Universities J. Wayne Stark Galleries.  El-Bermani is a member of the Portrait Society of America as well as a co-founder of the important blog Women Painting Women.  Several articles have been written on her work in such periodicals as American Art Collector, iArtistas, ArtSee, Art Week, The Independent and LA Weekly.  She currently lives and works in Apex, NC. For more info view www.alia-fineart.com