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BIG ARTS to open new gallery with Khorasantchi exhibit
January 10, 2020

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BIG ARTS is celebrating the new Dunham Gallery with the opening of renowned international artist Mally Khorasantchi's exhibit "Time for Joy," with the island show serving as the exhibit's debut.

The exhibit will open on Jan. 25 with an artist talk by Khorasantchi at 5:30 p.m., followed by an artist reception where guests can enjoy the show and meet Khorasantchi. The reception is free to attend and will feature complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres.

"We wanted to open the new gallery with an artist that's really something special," Programming and Gallery Manager Lauren Huff said. "Mally was the perfect fit. Her work is big, colorful, internationally known and echoes the natural beauty of our islands."

A German immigrant who settled in Southwest Florida in 1992, Khorasantchi has had a passion for art since she was a young child. She studied at the Malschule Hubbelrath in Duesseldorf, Germany, under noted German artists Barbara Boehringer and Wolfgang Eckart who helped nurture her artistic development. Her work is featured in permanent collections at The Baker Museum in Naples, The Frauenmuseum Bonn in Bonn, Germany, Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and at Florida Gulf Coast University in Estero.

"We came in 1991 on a trip to South Seas Island Resort the first time we visited Florida and Sanibel," Khorasantchi said. "My husband and I fell so much in love with the beauty and nature of this most beautiful Island, that we decided to move to Florida permanently from Germany. We made a down payment on a house in Naples and moved here as immigrants in 1992."

That connection with the island and the opportunity to be the first artist displayed in the new BIG ARTS gallery was an exciting opportunity that could not pass up, she continued.

"I can't emphasize enough how honored I feel to be the first artist in BIG ARTS Dunham Gallery and I'm very very grateful," Khorasantchi said. "Since BIG ARTS donors have made an extraordinary contribution to the Sanibel art scene through building this wonderful center, it is my obligation to deliver my highest quality work that I am able to produce. It makes a statement to the quality of art that should live and be exhibited in BIG ARTS wonderful facility. I have produced specifically large and happy paintings to enhance the festive happy opening."

Her work uses color and scale to capture elements from nature in interesting and breathtaking ways.

"My creative process is at the moment collages, the combination of oil and cutouts on paper or canvas. This is my favorite working process, using the shapes from nature and our Florida surroundings," Khorasantchi said. "In a world full of negative news, I try to focus on the positive, fully aware that climate change and the unruly behavior of my fellow humans are a difficult part for our environment. I stubbornly insist that we all can do our part to repair our mistakes. With joy, happiness and a lot of care, we are able to turn bad things into a splendid future."

The exhibit will be on display until March 1.

For more information, visit BIGARTS.org or call 239-395-0900.

The BIG ARTS Dunham Gallery is at 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel.

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