© 2016 by Sobia Ahmad

About

 

Sobia Ahmad's interdisciplinary practice maps the various ways the personal and the political overlap. By charting her own experiences and community narratives and weaving them with current and historical socio-political contexts, she aims to highlight the inseparability of the self and larger power structures. The work poses questions like: What confirms or dissipates our sense of belonging? What effects do policies have on our personal and collective psyches? And how can our deeply intimate struggles of belonging inform larger conversations about national identity, notions of home, cultural memory, and gender?

Born and raised in Pakistan, Sobia Ahmad moved to the United States at the age of fourteen. She is a 2016 graduate of the Bachelor’s in Studio Arts and the Honors Art Program at the University of Maryland College Park. Ahmad’s work has been reviewed in several major publications such as Al Jazeera English, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post and has been included in multiple collections. She has exhibited internationally—including at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in New York, and Queen Mary University in London. She received a Vermont Studio Center fellowship award in 2018, is the 2019 recipient of the Next Generation/Sanctuary Artist Fellowship at VisArts in Rockville, MD, and is a 2019-2020 Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow in Washington DC.

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EDUCATION

B.A. Studio Art Honors, May 2016 (Magna Cum Laude)

University of Maryland College Park, MD

 

AWARDS

2019   Allies for Justice Award, Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, Washington DC

2018   Visual Arts Fellowship Award, Vermont Studio Center

2017   Juror’s Award, Shout, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL (Juror: Patricia Nguyen)

2016   Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship, UMD Department of Art

           Sadat Art for Peace Purchase Award (2D, second place)

           Third Place, Colonel Wharton Award, Graduating Senior Show, UMD Department of Art

2015   Sadat Art for Peace Purchase Award (3D, first place)

ARTIST RESIDENCIES & FELLOWSHIPS

2020   Halcyon Arts Lab Fellowship Cohort 3 (2019-2020)

2019   Next Generation/Sanctuary Artist Fellowship at VisArts, Rockville, MD (2018-2019)

2018   Vermont Studio Center (Fellowship award)

           Arquetopia Artist Residency, Puebla, MX

           Sanctuaries DC, Art for Social Impact Fellowship

SOLO & TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2019   wherever you are is called Here, VisArts, Rockville MD (Solo exhibition)

           Imbrications, Gallery 102 at Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, Washington DC (Solo exhibition)

           I know where I've been, Catalyst Contemporary, Baltimore, MD (Two-person exhibition) 

2018   Small Identities, Common Ground Gallery, Rockville, MD (Solo exhibition)

           Mirrored Re-Collection, Stamp Gallery at the University of Maryland College Park, MD (Two-person exhibition)

SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019   how the light gets in, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY

           Foreword, Halcyon Arts Lab, Washington DC

           on tender ground, Current Space, Baltimore, MD

           Times of Perception, Stevenson University, Pikesville, MD

           School 33 40th Anniversary Invitation Exhibition, School 33 Arts Center, Baltimore, MD

           Transformer 16th Annual Auction, Corcoran School of Art and Design, Washington DC

           Women of the World, Gallery Three at Takoma Park Community Center, Takoma Park, MD

           Honor the Spirit, Sanctuaries Gallery, The Festival Center, Washington DC

           Alchemical Vessels 2019, Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, Washington DC

           VidArt Auction, The Art Museum of the Americas, Washington DC

           Incandescent Bloom, ASHA for Women 30th anniversary gala, Washington DC

2018   Loud Silence: Expressions of Activism, Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, Wilkes Barre, PA

           Transformer 15th Annual Auction, Corcoran School of Art and Design, Washington DC            

           A (GOOD) AMERICAN, Heurich House Museum, Washington DC

           Border (Untitled), Cody Gallery, Marymount University, Arlington, VA

           Human Nature, Gallery 110, Seattle, WA (Juror: Sara Krajewski)

           Elixir: Artists Respond to Making and Healing, Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, Washington DC

           Vox Lacunae, Stamp Gallery, University of Maryland College Park, MD

2017   Shout, ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL (Juror: Patricia Nguyen)

           Create/Change, Hillyer Art Space, Washington DC (Juror: Mary Early)

           Out/Side & In/Between, School 33, Baltimore, MD (Juror: Jarvis DuBois)

           Islamic Art Revival Series: 6th Annual Juried International Contemporary Islamic Art Exhibition, Irving Art                             Center, Irving, TX (Juror: Dr. Linda Komaroff)

           Photography as Response, Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO (Juror: Christy Havranek)

           Wet Paint, Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, VA (Juror: Harry Cooper)

           Home, Lubzenik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN (Jurors: Emanuel Aguilar & Julia Fischbach) 

           Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video, Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA                                     (International jury panel: Steve McCurry, Claudia, James Bartlett, Reza Deghati, Holly Jerger, Arpad                               Kovacs, Ali Akbar Sadeghi Newsha Tavakolian)

           Royal Trash, Queen Mary University, London, UK

2016   Typecast, Hillyer Art Space, DC (Juror: Jarvis DuBois)

           Gen-Y 3.0, VisArts, Rockville, MD

           Drawing Board, The Stamp Gallery, College Park, MD

           UMD Honors Thesis Show, Herman Maril Gallery, College Park, MD

           I Never See You, Brentwood Arts Center, Brentwood, MD

2015   In Response: Conversations Between Emerging Artists and Contemporary Work, The Stamp Gallery,                                   College Park, MD

           Continuing Legacies: Old Masters and New Apprentices, Herman Maril Gallery, College Park, MD

 

LECTURES & TALKS

2019   The Art of Exposure: Double Exposure Film Festival, Eaton Workshop, Washington DC

           Guest Lecture: Questioning as a Create Practice, Advance Research Seminar, The New School, New York, NY

           Shirt Stories/Shared Stories, Artist Talk at Tribute Collective, Washington DC

           Workshop facilitation & Artist Talk, Arts Scholars Program at the University of Maryland College Park, MD

           The Only Divisions that Matter Now: A roundtable discussion with artists Sobia Ahmad, Sughra Hussainy and                   Sepideh Salehi at Loyola University Baltimore, MD

           Healing through Art Panel: Alchemical Vessels 2019, Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, Washington DC

           Guest Lecture, Integrative Studio Design Course, Parson's School of Design, New York, NY

           Guest Lecture, Art Theory, University of Maryland College Park, MD

2018   Artist Talk, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT

           Artist Lecture in conjunction with exhibition Mirrored Re-Collection, University of Maryland College Park, MD

           Guest Artist Talk, George Washington University, Washington DC
           Responding to the Muslim Ban: Art and Activism Panel, Open Government Hub, Washington DC

 

PRESS / MEDIA

2019   The Washington Post: In the galleries: With two group exhibits, maximum exposure for photographers

           Ethnically Ambiguous Podcast: "We Are Sobia Ahmad"

2018   Huffington Post: The powerful political statement behind this artist’s wall of passport photos

           Al-Jazeera English: Muslim immigrants' ID cards used to build a 'wall of defiance'

           NBC Asian America: This artist is collecting Muslim immigrants' ID cards to build a different kind of wall

           The STAMP Gallery Blog: Interview with 'Vox Lacunae' artist Sobia Ahmad

           SWAAY: This artist is using her talent to show adversities facing Muslims in America

2017   Baltimore City Paper: No Borders: Artists in "Out/Side & In/Between" at School 33 navigate sense of                               place, culture, self-image, and immigration

           The Washington Post: In the galleries: The art of politics has exploded in Washington

2016   Washington City Paper: At Rockville's VisArts, two exhibitions of young artists showcase talent and potential