SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Museum of Art has been approved for a $60,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the upcoming exhibition Wonders of Creation: Art, Science, and Innovation in the Islamic World. Inspired by a medieval Islamic text engaging human curiosity about the universe, Wonders of Creation will illuminate the convergence and extraordinary global impact of Islam, science, and artistic production. This exhibition is among 1,248 projects across the United States totaling $28,840,000 that were selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like Wonders of Creation: Art, Science, and Innovation in the Islamic World from The San Diego Museum of Art that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “The San Diego Museum of Art is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”
With over 150 works of visual culture from Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East to Central, South, and Southeast Asia,as well as the modern diaspora, Wonders of Creation challenges modern disciplinary boundaries between art and science. Objects include astronomical and medical treatises, encyclopedias, scientific instruments and mechanical devices; technologies of craft and architecture like marbled paper, lusterware, and muqarnas; and contemporary art engaging Islamic scientific thought. The NEA Grants for Arts Projects award will support two art commissions, one by Los Angeles-based artist Hayv Kahraman and another by San Francisco-based artist Ala Ebtekar. Kahraman’s and Ebtekar’s engagement of past and present will bring historic relationships between Islam and science into contemporary conversations about cultural, geographic, and religious identity. Wonders of Creation will thus address the lasting impact of Islam, science, and material culture as agents in our endeavor to understand the world, both intellectually and materially, and to preserve our shared heritage. Wonders of Creation: Art, Science, and Innovation in the Islamic World is curated by Ladan Akbarnia, Ph.D., Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art at The San Diego Museum of Art, with the assistance of Hannah Hyden, Research Assistant at The San Diego Museum of Art.
For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.