Living Art: Public Events

Artist Sandow Birk will be participating in several public events during his residency this spring. These events are free and open to the public. If you have any questions, please contact Laura Edgar at 253-879-2806 or email


Selections from the American Qur’an Project

March 10 – April 14, 2014, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (M-F), 12:00 - 5:00 PM (Sat.)

On view in the Kittredge Gallery are selections from Sandow Birk’s ongoing project American Qur’an. Around 2005, as an outgrowth of his travels in Islamic countries and as a response to political events around the world, including the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Birk began to read and closely study the Qur’an in order to better understand Islam. Over the course of his studies, he began to envision an art project that would result in what he calls “a personal Qur’an,” a series of artworks that would explore how this important religious text relates to contemporary American life, and thereby help him and his viewers develop a more nuanced understanding of Islam.  Birk hopes that others will be inspired to think in broader terms about the Qur’an, and what it intrinsically means to be Muslim; that it is not a state of “otherness” but instead a shared experience of the world through a lens of different cultures.

Gallery Talk: Sandow Birk

Monday, April 14, 3:00 PM

Kittredge Gallery, University of Puget Sound

Sandow Birk is a well-traveled graduate of the Otis/Parson's Art Institute. Frequently developed as expansive, multi-media projects, his works have dealt with contemporary life in its entirety. With an emphasis on social issues, frequent themes of his past work have included inner city violence, graffiti, political issues, travel, war, and prisons, as well as surfing and skateboarding.  His most recent project involves a consideration of the Qur'an as relevant to contemporary life in America.  "American Qur'an" is a series of artworks that explore how this important religious text relates to contemporary American life. Join us as Birk discusses the "American Qur'an" project, currently on view in the Kittredge Gallery through April 14th.

Re-imagining Text and Image: Tensions, Medieval and Contemporary

Wednesday, April 16, 5:30 PM

Wyatt 109, University of Puget Sound

This roundtable discussion will explore the dynamics of illustrated texts from the medieval period through the contemporary, with an emphasis on tensions between visual and verbal description, prohibitions against particular types of imagery, and revisualizations of iconography in current practice.  Participants include visiting artist in residence Sandow Birk, Professor of English Denise Despres and Associate Professor of English Mita Mahato from the University of Puget Sound, and Professor of Art Lisa Sweet from Evergreen State University.