Cultural Collaborations

Visiting Artists Reception & Exhibition

In collaboration with the American Association for Arab Women (AAAW), Creative Malden will host a reception celebrating visiting artists and their work. Artwork by Hanan Zdeg, Abdelilah Ennassef, Mostafa Naffi, Bouali Mbarek, Jamal Ouadi, and Elham Essoufi will be on view as a special feature of the Moroccan Gallery made possible by the Consulate of the Kingdom of Morocco. The reception precedes the formal closing reception (6-8pm) of the Moroccan Gallery at 350 Main Street, to be held March 1.

About the gathering

At the opening reception, Morocco’s Consul General Abdelkader Jamoussi was deeply impressed by the gallery’s initiative and its impact. In a gesture of cultural exchange, he graciously extended invitations to six Moroccan artists currently exhibiting in New York, as guests of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Morocco and the College of Staten Island, to join the closing exhibition. Their work will be on view March 1 as part of the Moroccan Gallery. Eager to connect with the local creative community, the artists expressed a keen interest in meeting fellow artists. Thus, Creative Malden has arranged an informal gathering for artists of various disciplines to mingle and converse before the formal reception, which is scheduled to commence at 6 PM. Nametags and light refreshments will be provided, and the featured artists, along with the Consul, will be easily identifiable. If you wish to participate, please RSVP below.

About the Artists

Abdelilah Ennassef, Bouali Mbarek, Mostapha Naffi, Elham Essoufi, and Hanan Zdeg are participating in an inaugural group art exhibition in New York hosted by the Consulate of the Kingdom of Morocco and the City University of New York. This exhibition “is set to captivate its visitors with a rich and diverse Moroccan American visual language – a carefully orchestrated blend of artistic expressions that transcend traditional boundaries. It offers an opportunity to explore New York’s shared cultural diversity, which enhances mutual intellectual, creative, and innovative interests. The fusion of various styles, techniques, and perspectives weaves a vibrant tapestry of creativity, inviting viewers on an enthralling journey through a range of captivating emotions and thought-provoking concepts. From bold brushstrokes subtly conveying tales of passion to intricate forms evoking deep introspection, each artwork communicates in its own unique manner. The result is a harmonious ensemble of distinct voices, united by the universal language of art.”

Abdelilah Ennassef

“My art is a pilgrimage into the depths of collective memory, a quest to unveil the multifaceted jewel of my Moroccan identity. The symbiosis between my heritage and academic background infuses every facet of my work, particularly my installation pendants, where these forces converge into tangible expressions.

Geometric whispers, precise lines, and constellations of dots dance across my compositions, vessels brimming with the essence of my cultural tapestry. Repetition, far from a mere aesthetic choice, becomes a potent storytelling tool, unfurling the enigmatic whispers of my heritage and language. Like the rhythmic echoes of Early Islamic pendants, my art forms a visual narrative, resonating with the vocabulary of my roots.”

Bouali Mbarek

Bouali Mbarek is a Moroccan caricaturist and media professional based in Montreal, Canada. With a Bachelor’s degree in law and specialization in Political Science, he holds a Diploma in Advanced Studies in Education from Mohammed V University in Rabat. Bouali’s career began as a caricature artist for “Al-Alam” newspaper, and he has since showcased his artwork globally through solo exhibitions, group shows, and international cartoonist forums. Presently, he contributes as a caricature artist and correspondent for “Hespress” electronic newspaper while also showcasing his talents in comedic theatrical performances across different continents.

Mostapha Naffi

The visionary artist Mostapha Naffi embodies a profound connection between creation and existence. Drawing inspiration from Rainer Maria Rilke’s belief that creation defines his being. Naffi’s journey spans over 40 years and is marked by a distinctive exploration of Moroccan craft mediums beyond traditional brushes and canvas. He is a trailblazer of his generation, Naffi’s artistic pursuits challenge conventions. His work crosses boundaries and is in its nature interdisciplinary and reflects a poignant interplay between material and form.

Jamal Ouadi

Jamal Ouadi is a rooted visual artist whose inspiration derives from nature’s abundance. His artistic journey spans decades and features notable educational achievements, including a DNAT in Applied Arts and a DNSEP in Plastic Expression. With roles as an art teacher, founding member of ATTAQAFA, and initiator of the International Soup Festival, Jamal’s global exhibitions weave a narrative of ecological consciousness and human introspection, inviting viewers to contemplate life’s cycles and humanity’s relationship with the environment.

Elham Essoufi

Elham Essoufi lives and works in Rabat. Drawing and painting have always allowed her to express her sensitivity. The paintbrushes seem to dictate their path to the artist. This ability to bring an inert material to life inspires her to go further. The subjects are not planned; they impose themselves upon her. They can stem from a shape, a color, an emotion, a state of mind, music, or a value.

Abstraction has always held a significant place in Elham’s work, where she keeps imagining and painting without limits, like in a dream. She has always nurtured this passion with her deep and sincere emotions, which can be interpreted through her canvases. It is a depth that stems purely from a psychological and mental arrangement, yet it arises from a very specific arrangement of the surface and the construction of the elements she employs.

Hanan Zdeg

Hanan Zdeg, a profound artist, poet and mystical Sufi, was born in Meknes, Morocco, on July 3, 1974. After her family relocated to Kenitra at the age of 4, her life’s path began to unfold. Settling in New York in 1997, she nurtured a unique perspective on Sufism Fana-Baqae that embraces loss and abundance. Encouraged by artist Moa Bennani, she ventured into the art world and to significant exhibitions and an enriching artists residency at Les Beaux-Arts in Paris. Today, she embodies her beliefs in all facets of life, perceiving art as an evolutionary manifestation intertwined with our senses. She delves into the intricacies of evolutionary algorithms, seeking symmetries and truths across various philosophies.

About the Moroccan Gallery

The American Association for Arab Women (AAAW) spearheaded an initiative to highlight the vibrant culture of Morocco through an immersive exhibition encompassing history, music, art, literature, design, scholarship, and cuisine. Made possible by a grant from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) issued by the City of Malden, Massachusetts, the inaugural Moroccan art gallery in the state debuted at 350 Main Street, Malden, amid a spirited gathering. The event featured poetry readings, insightful reflections on Morocco’s rich heritage, a cultural exchange of gifts, enchanting music and dance performances, traditional Moroccan tea, delectable cuisine, and a special appearance by Morocco’s Consul General Abdelkader Jamoussi.

This dynamic mobile gallery will be open for public viewing until March 1st, offering visitors an immersive experience into Moroccan culture. To commemorate its final day at 350 Main Street, a closing reception and celebration of International Women’s Day will take place, providing a fitting conclusion to this extraordinary showcase.

RSVP to Attend Private Artists Reception and Exhibition: March 1, 4 to 6pm.