Family prepares to honor mother’s art

Kristin Saleri was born in Turkey. She was the youngest of five children born to Armenian parents.   |  Courtesy of the Kristin Saleri art foundation

Kristin Saleri was born in Turkey and was the youngest of five children born to Armenian parents. | Courtesy of the Kristin Saleri Art Foundation

It is often said that the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For Nansen Saleri, CEO of a local oil company, honoring his mother’s art is more about making sure she is not forgotten than it is about aesthetics.

Discovering Kristin Saleri is a special one-day exhibition of selected works that will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Blaffer Art Museum. Along with light refreshments, students can look forward to a $500 door prize drawing. A UH ID is required to enter.

In 2011, five years after his mother passed away, Saleri established the Kristin Saleri Art Foundation.

“The goal of the foundation is to memorialize Kristin Saleri’s artistic genius for everybody to cherish,” Saleri said.

Kristin Saleri was born in 1915 in Silivri, Turkey. Initially, she attended the the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts. After finishing her training there, she continued her education under André Lhote in Paris.

She produced more than 3,000 pieces of art, most of which are oil paintings.

“When I asked my mother — circa 2005 — what was the hidden message in her artwork, she said, ‘It is all about life,’”Nansen Saleri said.

Like many artists that have preceded and will follow her, Kristin Saleri found her inspiration in the contradictions that compose one’s life.

Blaffer was chosen as the venue for the exhibition because its mission is contingent with the values of Kristin Saleri and the foundation.

“The Blaffer Art Museum represents the very values of my mother — supporting art and artists. Last year, the Blaffer Youth Center was renamed the Kristin Saleri Studio, which makes the connection with Blaffer even poignant,”Nansen Saleri said.

Through her art, Kristin Saleri has left many legacies for her family and for the world.

“She has so many (legacies). Yet, I must say, life and spirituality through black and white, orange and blue in random order,” Nansen Saleri said.

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