(Posted April 7, 2015)

Unraveling #4 is one of Afarin Rahmanifar's works on display at the Juniata Museum of Art through Sept. 12.
Unraveling #4 is one of Afarin Rahmanifar's works on display at the Juniata Museum of Art through Sept. 12.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Combining the ancient tales of Sheherazade and genies with iconography from modern magazine ads and Barbie imagery, Iranian artist Afarin Rahmanifar will reveal a vision combining Eastern and Western female icon imagery to represent a perceived "feminine ideal" at the Juniata College Museum of Art from Thursday, April 16 through Sept 12.

There will be an opening reception for the exhibit at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 16. The reception and museum exhibit are free and open to the public.

Called "Unraveled: Paintings by Afarin Rahmanifar," the exhibition is inspired by the artist's mix of images of real women's bodies and the preconceptions of women's bodies held by societies and individuals. In essence, she combines floating, fading or disappearing images to create new female form using parts of images derived from cultures of the East and West.

"My work consists of personal stories and experiences abour female identity, which reveal the aspect of 'appearing,' disappearing' and 'reappearing' that is situated within the mystical poetry of Sufiism," Rahmanifar says in her artist's statement.

Her use of diverse and dichotomous images helps the artist create what she calls "hybrid personalities" that relate to her image of herself as a Middle Eastern women living in western society.

"My work consists of personal stories and experiences abour female identity, which reveal the aspect of 'appearing,' disappearing' and 'reappearing' that is situated within the mystical poetry of Sufiism."

Afarin Rahmanifar

Rahmanifar lies to work in mixed media, incorporating painting, collage, drawing and wax into her artworks.

Rahmaifar is a professor of art at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Conn.. She teaches courses in painting, drawing and two-dimensional design. After immigrating to the United States from Iran in 1989, she earned a master's of fine arts degree from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn.

Her work has been exhibited nationwide, including shows at Columbia University, the University of California, Berkeley, Boston University and the University of Illinois, Carbondale.

"The work expresses my need to reconcile thse two cultures which reflect both my past and present. My motivation for creating these hybrid personalities relates to how I see myself in American society," she says.

Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. through May 6. Beginning in May, the museum has summer hours, Wednesday through Friday from 12 to 4 p.m. For more information, please call the museum at (814) 641-3505, or visit the Juniata College Web site at http://www.juniata.edu/museum.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.