On Art

Welcoming the Stranger, by Sinan Hussein

Iraqi-born (now US-based) artist Sinan Hussein is one of the painters represented in the traveling exhibit Abraham: Out of One, Many, now showing at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston (see news story “With exhibit on Abraham, Episcopal cathedral in Boston organizes interfaith conversation”). Welcoming the Stranger displays his signature interplay of surrealism, whimsy, and symbolism. Floating characters and objects are suspended in what he calls “an environment reminiscent of Limbo.” The engagement of the characters and symbols invites both deeper engagement and, as the title suggests, deeper welcome. The exhibit, produced by the nonprofit peacebuilding organization Caravan and sponsored by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian organizations, brings together three Middle Eastern artists treating scenes of welcome in the life of Abraham.