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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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Internationally-renowned artist eL Seed to complete mural Friday


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eL Seed mixes contemporary graffiti with historic Arabic text in his paintings. His artwork has been commissioned on buildings throughout the world. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

If you have walked by the Graduate College of Social Work recently, you may have noticed heaps of spray paint cans and a massive mural slowly spreading over the side of the building. This is because French-Tunisian “calligraffiti” artist eL Seed is painting a mural on the building for the CounterCurrent Festival this week.

Students and the UH community is encouraged to stop by Friday to witness the completion of the piece starting at 11 a.m.

eL Seed will speak, free food will be provided, a DJ will be present and student volunteers will put on a performance.

“(The performance that will be showcased Friday) involves (a group of 20 student) volunteers standing and holding certain positions as part of a human sculpture,” event coordinator and chemistry sophomore Sarah Zeidat said. “The poses and formations will be inspired by the themes of eL Seed’s piece.”

According to his website, eL Seed “(works) primarily with subjects that seem contradictory… (and his) art reflects the reality of mankind and the world we live in today.”

eL Seed mixes contemporary graffiti with historic Arabic text in his paintings. His artwork has been commissioned on various buildings throughout the world.

“Writing messages is the essence of my artwork,” eL Seed said in a news release. “Even Arabic-speaking people really need to focus a lot to decipher what I’m writing. You don’t need to know the meaning to feel the piece. I think that Arabic script touches your soul before it reaches your eyes. There is a beauty in it that you don’t need to translate.”

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eL Seed’s mural will be completed Friday. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

Once eL Seed’s mural is completed, it will be displayed at UH for the next two years as part of the Mitchell Center’s INTERSECTIONS, where the goal is to create a connection between artists, Muslims and non-Muslims.

“It’s an exciting time for our very diverse campus and in a day and age where racism, Islamophobia and prejudice are at what feels like an all time high,” political science junior Shifa Abuzaid said. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and who knows where eL Seed will be headed next?”

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