From Sufi to Contemporary Exhibits
By Shaista Khan
Pictures by Faiz Ahmed

Mr Adnan Khan, President, Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA) and others at the 2nd South Asian American Art Festival 2009 “Dialogue in Art”

T his past week, headlines were made when protocol was pleasantly broken with the monarchy “across the pond”.

The US President Barack Obama and the First Lady’s visit to the UK held the media’s attention due to their show of affectionate embraces. This was also the case of our own community (customary to such Eastern displays of affection), when guests and artists blended with the art portrayed at Santa Monica Art Studio, CA.

The Place: Santa Monica Art studio boasts that under its soaring roofline is a vibrant community of artists and exhibition spaces that fills 22,000 square feet of this historic airplane hangar.

The venue: “Dialogue in Art,” the second annual South Asian American Art Festival, was organized by FFEM Zanbeel Art Managing Curator Fatima Sultan Khan, past president of Pakistan Arts Council ( Pacific Asia Museum).

The Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA) proudly supported the event and provided food and refreshment. COPAA President Adnan Khan commented that “COPAA always works with different organizations in the community to promote them”. He went on to say “it is our vision to bond and help brand organizations for their enhancement”.

Our popular Consul General Pakistan, Syed Ibne Abbas and his wife Sadaf, pleasantly mingled with guests and artists estimated at about 3000. Admiring the work and announcing that the Government of Pakistan would award three prizes to the top Pakistani child artists who had proudly displayed their work, the Consul General mentioned that “South Asian artists portrayed positive images of the region”. Syed Ibne Abbas was accompanied by Consul General Bangladesh, Shamsul Haque, and Consul General Afghanistan, Atiqullah Atifmal.

From Sufi to contemporary exhibits, one’s faculties were tested with profusion of color, an earful tune and an aroma of appetizers. These enthusiastic performers (artists, authors and musicians), proudly moved about the venue chatting with the guests. Over 120 pieces of artwork from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Syria and the US were on display. More details can be found listed under

COPAA Board of Directors thoroughly enjoyed the venue, and felt that such an endorsement provided mutual benefit to the community. Since his term began in January 2009 COPAA President Adnan Khan has managed to attain fast growing popularity and admiration from the community by hosting such several events. Adnan Khan mentioned at the event that COPAA plans to continue in this undertaking and welcomes ideas and dialogue from the community.

The event continued for several hours into the afternoon and whether it was by chance the flick of a brush, a thought-provoking sentence or a single note, the fine concoction of talent was admired by many. As dusk fell, and the “Creator’s” paint brush adorned the sky one came away feeling definitely impressed.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.