Crossing Borders


Immigrant artists from Turkey, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, Russia, France, and the UK share their art and personal stories about their cultural heritage intertwined with their American experience, and the impact of immigration and the new American culture on their lives and art making. The project entitled “Crossing Borders: Artists from the Middle East & the Americas” an art exhibition with cultural events from South Florida’s rich multicultural community. At the exhibit opening, attendants will experience “A Taste of the Middle East, and Latin America,” and engage the attendants in a facilitated dialogue focusing on building cultural understanding, dispelling stereotypes, and fostering awareness of immigrants from the Middle East, the Americas and beyond with stories of their history in the U.S. This will be shared through videos, photos, and text as it contributes to the American fabric.

The exhibit will be in-person at a gallery and online viewing room with cultural programs featuring the American Days of Middle Eastern and the Americans Arts and Culture with Zoom lectures and live streaming of presentations by Middle Eastern, Cuban, Haitian, and Venezuelan musicians, poets, performers, scholars, filmmakers, and culinary arts to further enrich the events which makes this project accessible beyond physical space and the local community.

Crossing Borders Project (selected participating artists)

Tony Khawam at his studio in Miami, FL
Ilan Averbuch at his studio in Brooklyn, NY
José Bedia at his studio in Miami, FL
Linda Behar Artist Talk at Print Center, NYC
Edouard Duval-Carrie at his studio in Miami
Ivonne Ferrer at her studio in Miami Exhibit
Nizar Sabour at his studio in Damascus, SY
Sibel Kocabasi, exhibit in Ft Lauderdale, FL
Galen Cheney in her studio in North Adams
Andrew Cotton in his studio in Miami, FL

Tony Khawam immigrated to the U.S. in 1977. He is a graduate with BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and now lives and works in Miami. He is an artist and curator deeply rooted in his Middle Eastern heritage intertwined with the American culture. His work explores social and heritage structures that objectify marginalized communities and the bodies of vulnerable populations especially the immigrants, and examines the cross-cultural dynamic in our communities. Just as essential to his work is a social engagement practice through which he reframes objectifying societal structures by bringing contemporary arts and ideas into different multicultural communities through arts and cultural institutions.
Work Samples

Ilan Averbuch immigrated to the U.S. in 1978. He is a graduate with MFA from Hunter College and BFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY, and now lives and works in New York City. His cultural heritage and experiences are well incorporated into his creative thinking through historical legends, ancient art from his birth place Israel and new life in America “The path to art, isolation and impatience as a creative force, how the landscape around you creates your artistic palette” Averbuch said. The process of his work is by doing a drawing of an idea, then building small or large sculptures by using old and new materials, such as stone, steel, concrete, wood, aluminum and proposes for commissioned monumental sculptures. Work Samples

José Bedia born in La Havana, Cuba and graduated with honors from the ISA , Instituto Superior de Arte de la Habana, Cuba. He was a pioneer of the radical transformation of Cuban Art that inaugurated the Exhibition Volume 1, which Bedia was integral part of it. His passion for the primal Amerindians complemented his anthropological studies on Afro-Transatlantic cultures. He traveled to Angola as part of the International Cultural Brigades who supported the struggle of the Angolan-Cuban War against Namibia and South Africa. This contact with the mother continent and the war increased his interest about the African roots of American culture. This interest took him to visit countries such as Peru, Mexico, Haiti, Dominican Rep., Puerto Rico, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, and Tanzania. After residing in Mexico he moved to Miami Florida, where he currently lives and works. Work Samples

Linda Behar born in Caracas, Venezuela and now lives and works in Florida, she was trained in the “Academia Taller Arte y Fuego” in Caracas between 1994 and 1998. She became a specialist in Glass Casting and Pate de Verre through studies and workshops in Italy and USA. She immigrated to the US in 2000, and earned a MFA degree with emphasis in printmaking from Florida Atlantic University, FL. Her work has centered in the representation of women’s bodies and gender identities throughout history, more specifically focused on body language as it relates to gender norms. Work Samples

Edouard Duval Carrié born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and now lives and works in Miami. He is a graduate with MFA from École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, and BFA from Loyola College, Montréal. He is an artist-curator and an educator, who challenges the viewer to make meaning of dense iconography derived from Caribbean history, politics, and religion. His mixed media works and installations present migrations and transformations, often human and spiritual with emphasis on materials and through consistent attention to translucent and reflective mediums, such as glitter, glass, and resin. Work Samples

Ivonne Ferrer born in Cuba, lives and works in Miami. He graduated from San Alejandro Academy, and René Portocarrero National Silk Screen Print Shop, Havana, Cuba. Atribuciones in Fidelio Ponce Gallery (1990) was her first solo exhibition, which led her to leave the Cuban art scene for the Spanish circuit where she participated in: Expo Universal Sevilla 92, Arts Pavillion, La temperatura de Dios (1993), Fisiología decorativa (1994) and La isla mágica in Copenhagen, together with two masters, Julio Girona and the Spaniard Fernando Somosa, etc. Ivonne migrated to the United States in 1995. In 1997 produced Trinomio cubano at Botello Gallery, Puerto Rico. Her work is in the permanent collections of several art museums in the US, Europe and Latin America as well as in in private collection throughout the Americas and Europe. Work Samples

Nizar Sabour received his PhD in art philosophy from Strugunov Academy in Moscow and now lives and works in Damascus and Moscow. The influence of Syrian-Russian cultures are reflected in his work which splits between two themes, the first has religious undertones, focusing on the artist’s fascination with historical imagery and icons whether Christian, Islamic or non-Abrahamic traditions and the second theme is very poetic. His images tend to appear archaic, utilizing traditional elements silkscreened with paint, sand, and ash on canvas, with a flattened perspective and spots of colored shapes. He employs motifs reminiscent of the European Dada movement rather than the precision of historical iconography. The Icons, Maaloula and Palmyra have a correlation to the historical and religious places in Syria where the extremists entered towns and ransacked the culture. Work Samples

Sibel Kocabasi was born in Istanbul, Turkey, lives and works in South Florida, USA, and immigrated to the US in 2000. She has MFA from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida (2005) and BFA from the Marmara University of Fine Arts in Istanbul. Kocabasi is a multidisciplinary visual artist studied Turkish Traditional Arts (rug/kilim design, natural dyes, conservation, restoration of textiles, and illumination of manuscripts) working in painting, textiles, staged photography, and installations. Her art addresses contemporary social concerns, from the deteriorating natural environment, migration, violence against women, across cultures, including the suppression of female identity and the recent awakening of feminine power and confidence. Work Samples

Santiago Medina born in Medellin, Colombia, lives and works in Miami, he has a MA degree from Legacy Institute of Sculpture, Pietrasanta Italy and Fort Lauderdale, Florida and a BA from the University of Miami, USA and Libe de Zulategui Academy of Art, Colombia. The summary of his artistic passion as “I bring inert stainless steel to life by creating sculptures full of light and movement”. Since studying at Harvard, Medina has been a pioneer in the innovative use of advanced 3D imaging CT and MRI in the creation of unique sculptures. He brings powerful artistic expression, technological sophistication and physician sensitivity to his beautiful artwork. This creates vibrant timeless masterpieces that will transcend generation.

Galen Cheney born in Northridge, California, though has lived most of her life in New England where her ancestors first arrived from England in 1620. She currently lives and works in North Adams, Massachusetts and has been a committed abstract painter. Though entirely abstract, her paintings pulse with a contemporary energy. Their imagery and textures evoke a range of urban sensibilities, from glass high rises to gritty sidewalks. Her current work can be traced back to a pivotal experience she had in China during a three-month residency in 2015, when she began exploring the ideas and methods of collage in earnest. A profound feeling of dislocation and otherness fueled a potent studio practice, where the spoken word fell away and her visual language was the ultimate currency. Work Samples

Andrew Cotton born in London, works and lives in Miami after immigrating to the US in 2004. He studied art at the prestigious Central St. Martins School of Art in Holborn, London in 2000 and immigrated to the US in 2004 and set up a studio in Dumbo Brooklyn. His work can be described as the impact of transformative original artwork can deliver with a contemporary signature style spans stunning abstracts, iconic vintage images and urban landscapes, and makes a powerful statement using dynamic colors in a variety of media.

A full color 38 page art exhibit catalogue currently in production and will be available for the exhibitions

This project has won the best visual art from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs “Individual Specific Cultural Project Award” (2021/22), and partially sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, and Broward County Cultural Division, and individuals like you. We need your support to do three exhibitions in three cities. Here’s how you can help with three tiers of sponsorship, Corporate, Small Business and Individual Sponsorship:
Collector $500 – Logo or individual’s name on exhibit flyer, website, social media and PR release.
Muse $250 – Logo or individual’s name on exhibit flyer, website, and social media.
Canvas $150 – Name on social media (contact us for sponsorship).

– – – – – – – – – –  << >> – – – – – – – – – –

Partially Supported By

– – – << Crossing Borders Exhibitions & Cultural Events >> – – –

Miami Dade College, Museum of Art + Design, Miami, Florida
CROSSING BORDERS: Artists from the Middle East and the Americas
September 6 to October 5, 2022 – Exhibition and cultural events, In-person and virtual Zoom live streaming . A selection of works by Ilan Averbuch Jose Bedia, Edouard Duval-Carrie, Linda Behar, Andrew Cotton, Sibel Kocabaşı, Adnan Charara, Ivonne Ferrer, Santiago Medina, Galen Cheney, Tony Khawam, Carlos Sablon, Celia Wilkinson.

NSU Florida, Cotilla Gallery, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
CROSSING BORDERS: Artists from the Middle East and the Americas
June 16 to August 11, 2022 – Nova Southeastern University (NSU)
Exhibition and cultural event, In-person and virtual Zoom live streaming . A selection of works by immigrant artists from Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, Turkey, Israel, Syria, Russia, and the UK. works by Ilan Averbuch, José Bedia, Linda Behar, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Galen Cheney, Ivonne Ferrer, Tony Khawam, Sibel Kocabasi, Santiago Medina, and Nizar Sabour.

Arts Warehouse, Delray Beach, Florida
CROSSING BORDERS: Artists from the Middle East and the Americas
January 7 to February 26, 2022
Exhibition and cultural event, In-person and virtual Zoom live streaming. A selection of works by Eight immigrant artists from the Middle East, Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, and Switzerland. Works by Ilan Averbuch, Linda Behar, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Adnan Charara, Ivonne Ferrer, Tony Khawam, Sibel Kocabasi, Kelly Fischer, and Nizar Sabour.
( )

Scope Art Show, Miami, Florida
CROSSING BORDERS: Artists from the Middle East and the Americas
November 30 to December 5, 2021 – SCOPE Art Show in-person fair during Art Miami week, Miami. A selection of works by Six Middle Eastern, Swiss-American, and Cuban contemporary artists. Featured works by Ilan Averbuch, Kelly Fischer, Manhal Issa, Tony Khawam, Nizar Sabour, and Esterio Segura.

Zoom and Live streaming on Tuesday November 30, 2021 at 7pm.

A Cultural Evening “Artist Talk” moderator Elle Schorr and a brief about the importance of Crossing Borders cultural arts project presented by Tony Khawam, followed by artist talk with Ilan Averbuch, Kelly Fischer, Esterio Segura, Linda Behar.

– – – << Crossing Borders Exhibits & Cultural Events >> – – –

Kendall Art & Cultural Center / Rodriguez Collection, Miami, Florida
CROSSING BORDERS: Artists from the Middle East and Latin America
August 6 – Sept 3, 2021 – Kendall Art Center, Rodriguez Collection, 12063 SW 131st Ave. Miami, FL.
The exhibition showcases the work of Immigrant artists from Cuba, Haiti, Iran, Israel, Syria, and Venezuela share their art and personal stories about their cultural heritage intertwined with their American experience, and the impact of immigration and the new American culture on their lives and art making. works by Ilan Averbuch, José Bedia, Linda Behar, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Ivonne Ferrer, Tony Khawam, Zahra Nazari, and Nizar Sabour. (

%d bloggers like this: