Limited Edition Artwork by Turquoise Mountain Alumna

Crescendo is currently featuring three limited edition paintings by Sughra Hussainy who trained at Turquoise Mountain in Kabul from 2011-2013. Sughra’s work has been on view at the Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler Gallery as a part of the exhibit Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan (March 2016-October 2017).

Turquoise Mountain was originally founded as an initiative in 2006 to restore and preserve the Old City in Kabul (its original city center). A number of the restored buildings is now an arts school that has become world renowned for its programs in calligraphy, woodwork, marble work, jewelry, ceramics, and painting. The application process is highly competitive as only 50-60 new students are accepted each year out of thousands who apply.

Photo by Amy Chase, Turquoise Mountain (July 2017), Kabul, Afghanistan

Photo by Amy Chase, Turquoise Mountain (July 2017), Kabul, Afghanistan

I met Sughra in June at the One Journey Festival, an event that showcased the refugee community in the DC/MD/VA tristate area. She was selling her artwork which immediately caught my eye. Ever since I had the opportunity to visit and tour Turquoise Mountain in 2017, I have been a very big supporter of the programs and especially of the graduates. Sughra specializes in miniature painting which requires a unique set of skills that differentiate them from other painters. She has a very steady hand and a sharp eye for details. Each piece of her art is unique.

Photo by Amy Chase, One Journey Festival (June 2, 2018), Washington, DC

Photo by Amy Chase, One Journey Festival (June 2, 2018), Washington, DC

Sughra has shared with me her background, her journey from Kabul to Maryland, and the difficulty in obtaining some of the watercolors that she prefers to use, including the gold-leaf paint. The three pieces that we are selling in the bazaar are her last few pieces done with natural watercolors and gold-leaf paint from Afghanistan. We are extremely honored to have her as a partner.

Currently, Sughra is a MFA candidate at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Her latest exhibit was in Towson University and her upcoming exhibit, scheduled to start at the end of November, will be at Loyola University.