A Taste of Africa In Bahrain

Lena W Dajani Karibu Tanzania Bahrain 2013

During the Spring of Culture, Lena W Dajani, an artist and my friend, is having her first solo exhibit at World Beat Fitness starting March 2, 2013.

 Karibu Tanzania is Swahili for “Welcome to Tanzania”.

The beauty of Tanzania’s vibrant landscapes and people are the subject of Lena’s first solo exhibit.  Between 2008 –2010, Lena and her family lived in Dar Es Salam.  She immediately fell in love with the city, its idyllic setting on the Indian Ocean and tropical landscape.  From Dar Es Salaam, the family explored the shores of Zanzibar, sailed the Indian Ocean, and took numerous safari trips to the country’s national parks.  Traveling through the Ngorongoro Crater, Manyara, Serengeti, Amani, Saadani, Bongoyo, Mbudya and Ruaha reserves, she captured the family adventures.  This exhibit was created from her thousands of photos.

Lena was a member of Artist Seana Mallen’s Awali Arts.  Under Seana’s artistic guidance, her painting developed from a hobby to a commitment to create unique artwork drawing from her global experiences.  A busy mother, she currently works with watercolor and acrylic painting that allows her to quickly and effectively re-create and capture her impressions.

Private collectors in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tanzania have purchased Lena’s paintings.  She created a line of greeting cards and has presented her art work in several local exhibitions.

  • Bahrain International Garden Show (2007 & 2008) with the Awali Arts
  • Desert Designs, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia (2007)
  • Art House Open Studios, Bahrain (2008)
  • BAPCO’s 2012 First Annual Art competition, Bahrain (2012)

Karibu Tanzania will continue through March at World Beat.  However, if you can, on the opening day, stop by to meet and chat with Lena.  Her conversations range from Islamic art, Edward Tingatinga’s paintings, African safaris, Bali artists, high-tea in London, camping trips in Oman, Middle East politics, recipes from Gourmet magazine or family tennis tournaments in the south of France.  Her passport may say American, but she is a true Global Citizen and her art is inspired by global culture.

You can LIKE Lena on FACEBOOK.

Lena Dajani Karibu Tanzania Spring of Culture 2013

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Seana and Beauty Walk to the World Beat

"Beauty" by Artist Seana Mallen

Beauty is an invisible essence certain women exhibit as they walk through the messiness of life.  Whether in a crowded market or an elegant café, it is how these women light up the space around them even in the noon sun.

Rushing to my 10am yoga class, I opened the door into the World Beat Fitness Center’s sunny café when BOOM I suddenly found myself whirling in Seana Mallen’s universe.  Seana was swirling around hanging up her paintings for the opening of her In Celebration of Women exhibit this afternoon.

Dedicated to her mother, a breast cancer survivor, who “lit up a room when she entered it, both by her positive personality and by bright red lipstick” Seana’s exhibit draws upon her mother’s inner beauty and all the anonymous women who color her world.

Seana is truly an ARTIST with a real CV and commissioned works around the world.  How did an international artist end up in Bahrain? – like many expat wives, her husband took a position here and she accompanied him looking at it as an opportunity to travel, paint and educate.  Here her gregarious nature and love of energy and color has turned her life into one bright spotlight.

A gifted teacher Seana set up Awali Arts as soon as she landed.  Under her guidance, many of my friends have grown from primary school type sketching to artists in their own right.  But Seana doesn’t just focus on unemployed housewives; she volunteers her time around the world helping school children create murals.  Or you might accompany her on a travel holiday painting in India, Africa or Jordan.  Or you may take a cruise and take a watercolor class from her.  And if you pop over to my house, you will see the one of the many sets of commissioned family portraits she has created.

But the easiest way to meet Seana today and until November 10th is to go have a coffee at the World Beat Café and gallery.  Maybe you will even get the chance to meet this strong, funny, enthusiastic fire-cracker who inherited all these qualities from her mother.

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