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Artist Adnan Charara’s life is as multi-layered as his work. Raised in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and Lebanon, he came to the United States at the age of 19 to complete his education. Arriving in western Washington, he attended Yakima Community College and the University of Washington. From here Charara went on to receive his undergraduate degree in architecture from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and also obtained a Master’s in Urban Planning.
Despite a lack of formal art education in his early environment, Charara was always fascinated with art and developed his own creative practice early on. As a result of this he eventually left the field of architecture to pursue his dream as an author of visual poetry. For many years now Charara now has maintained a studio in Detroit, Michigan, where every corner is filled with his visual verse, manifest in multitude of media.
Beyond his studio, Charara’s artworks occupies a number of prominent collections, including the DIA and the Boston Public Library. He has received numerous awards and was the first living artist to be granted a one man show at the Arab American National Museum.
Over his career his work has exponentially evolved. His figurative works, both painted and sculptural, with their bright colors and exaggerated features, have been described cartoonish. Yet these simple characters articulately convey complex narratives. His works consistently explores themes of anxiety, fear, resilience, adaptability, growth and the immigrant experience. Though based in autobiography his art moves beyond the personal, to touch upon elements inherent in all human experience.