Colonial Colonnade Opening Reception + Performance

6-8 p.m. ET Friday, November 10, 2023
Colonial Colonnade Opening Reception + Performance

In-person at AANM

Join AANM and artist-in-residence Doris Bittar for the opening of our newest exhibition, Colonial Colonnade. Colonial Colonnade partners Arabic and English as a nonlinear and unsequenced format of words without start and end points. Facets of the exhibition include cutout curtains of grouped text, moveable words, steel footholds to swing and hang from, and an encounter with a menagerie of letters and symbols. Video shorts and photographs complete the project’s scope. Doris  will be joined by Clarissa Bitar and Nadia Khayrallah in performance. Free and open to the public; refreshments will be served.

Doris Bittar’s interdisciplinary art maps and explores migratory patterns that overlap national boundaries. She names her historically derived and migration patterns a form of “cultural DNA” as an invitation for interactive participation. Originally from Lebanon, Bittar received a BFA at the State University of New York and an MFA from the University of California San Diego where she has lived for three decades. She taught at the University of California San Diego, California State University San Marcos, and the American University of Beirut over a 25-year period and is a published writer on art and politics. With over 20 solo exhibitions, Bittar’s art has been in several prominent group exhibits including biennales in Europe and the Arab world. Housed in several public collections in the United States and abroad, she received awards and residencies at the Sharjah Biennial, Alexandria Biennial of Mediterranean Countries, Berlin-Stuttgart ifa gallery, Ravenna, Venice Biennale, and New York’s Alternative Museum, among others. Bittar is a core member of Gulf Labor and founded several nonprofits to promote Arab American community aspirations in Southern California. Bittar maintains the House of Palestine display in Balboa Park, has aided Syrian refugees in learning English as a second language, and is the founder of Protea Gallery, a nonprofit to promote Arab American art.

Clarissa Bitar is an award winning Palestinian oud musician and composer born, raised, and based in Los Angeles. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Music and an emphasis in Ethnomusicology. To further her studies, Clarissa sought out and learned from prominent Arab oudists including Simon Shaheen, Charbel Rouhana and Bassam Saba. Clarissa has had the privilege of performing around the country and internationally. Bitar has incorporated oud with a multitude of genres ranging from R&B to Pop to Hip Hop and Rap. Her album titled, Hassan Sabi, is out now on all streaming platforms. Clarissa’s music has been featured on radio, film, and exhibits around the world. She released a joint poetry-oud EP with Palestinian poet Mohammed El-Kurd in January of 2019 titled Belly Dancing on Wounds as well as her solo EP, Bayati. Clarissa has a passion for teaching and sharing knowledge on Arab music, as well as performing and hopes to continue to carve our spaces for oud share this tradition with others.

Nadia Khayrallah is a Lebanese-American dance artist, writer, and (dis)content creator rooted equally in history and fantasy, form and groove, esoterica and common sense. A graduate of Columbia University with a B.A. in Dance and Psychology, Nadia currently performs with Jonah Bokaer Choreography and Gotham Dance Theater and serves as a teaching artist in public schools throughout NYC. Nadia has completed choreographic residencies at Chez Bushwick and Leimay Foundation and presented work through Dixon Place, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Queens College Arts Festival, Queensboro Dance Festival, Screendance Miami, YallaPunk, New York Arab Festival, and Little Island NYC, among other venues. They co-directed music videos for the artists Zahed Sultan and Alethea and movement-directed New York Fashion Week presentations for the designer Tara Babylon. Nadia is currently a staff writer for thINKingDANCE and has previously written for the Dance Enthusiast, Huffington Post, Reductress and Sukoon Magazine.

This project is made possible in part by a grant from Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

With support from




Community Courtyard

Our traditional Courtyard — featuring a mosaic tile floor, soaring calligraphic dome and exhibit cases with artifacts — can accommodate up to 150 people for sit-down or strolling meals perfect for weddings, business receptions, holiday parties, family gatherings, anniversaries and birthday celebrations.

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