MFA Candidate Spotlight: Sanaz Haghani

Available at the Georgia Museum of Art blog.

The annual Master of Fine Arts Degree Candidates Exhibition at the Georgia Museum of Art opens on April 13 (with an opening reception the night before from 6 to 8 p.m. that is free and open to the public). The exhibition will display the creative works of eight students slated to graduate from the Lamar Dodd School of the Art in May. We will spotlight some of these candidates, continuing with book arts student Sanaz Haghani.

Haghani’s work focuses on giving a voice to those who do not have it. Born and raised in Iran, she eventually went to college and received a bachelor of arts in graphic design. For the next eight years, she taught graphic design courses and worked in the industry. She changed course in 2002, however, when she decided to explore the fine art aspects of her creative abilities. She was accepted into an MFA program at Montana State University, but after two years decided to transfer to the University of Georgia.

She is not afraid to explore multiple mediums. From papermaking and lithography to etching and screen printing, Haghani uses her skills to create compelling pieces that tell stories of problems in her home country, specifically those affecting women.

She says, “I don’t want to point [to] any political issues, which I can’t because they’re all about politics, but I just want to talk about those women and show how they live out there.”

Iran has changed considerably since her childhood, but she recounts some of her experiences growing up in the Middle East, and how these experiences have influenced her craft.

She says, “I especially use black because [of] the government. When I was a child I started to cover my hair, my body and everything. When you start to cover something, you’re meant to be hidden, right? So you learn to hide your emotions, to hide your thoughts, and then at some point you realize no one sees you.”

Haghani wants to give a voice to the women who were and are silenced, much as she was when she was young. “All the women I’m talking about are forgotten,” she says. “No one talked about them. They [are] born, they live, and they die. So I just want to talk about those people.”

To see Haghani’s work, along with that of all the other MFA candidates, you can visit the exit show, on view April 13 – May 19.

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