About & Statement

Pantea Karimi- Lead Teaching Artist- Statement and Bio:

Project Statement: My Homeland art project received the School of Arts & Culture at MHP’s Multicultural Arts Leadership Initiative grant with an additional awarded fund in Jan 2012.  I planned to implement the project between February and June 2012, including nine teaching sessions, project’s website design, and the three traveling exhibitions.

The project’s initial idea formed in the fall of 2011, when I also spoke with the art directors at three arts and education organizations in the South Bay (the Community School of Music and Arts, the Euphrat Museum of Art and the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza).  I have been teaching for two of the above organizations for a few years and in my art classes I have had many students who came from different parts of the world. My teaching experience with the international students made me think about a project that would celebrate the multicultural youth community in the South Bay through art. I also intended to design a collaborative work with the aim of creating a connection between communities and organizations that I have been working with. Furthermore, I wanted to put together a project that directly spoke to my personal experience as an immigrant, artist and educator; in 2005, I moved from England to San Jose, where I live, practice art and teach, and have made it my new home.

The idea of “hybrid symbols” as the main visual rendition form made sense since it would visually represent students’ cultural backgrounds combined with their American life experiences. The maps, where students assembled their final “hybrid symbols” blocks, depicted their schools neighborhoods. And lastly, the collaborative wall installation aimed to bring the three communities together in one visual presentation.

Bio:  Pantea Karimi has lived, studied, and worked in Iran, the UK and the US and presently resides in San Jose, California. She started her training in painting and classical music at age 14, which led to her decision to pursue art professionally. Karimi earned her MFA in printmaking and painting from San Jose State University in 2009. She also holds a Diploma in printmaking and glassworks from Hastings College of Arts and Technology in England in 2004 and an MFA in graphic design from the University of Art in Tehran, Iran, in 1999. Karimi’s fine arts and graphic works have been featured in several publications in Iran, Italy, the UK and the United States. Her prints and digital works have been exhibited in various venues in Iran, Algeria, Germany, Mexico, the UK, and the United States, including the de Young Museum and the Yerba Buena Art Center in San Francisco, 2012 ZERO1 Biennial, the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, the Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame, the Google Company in Mountain View, the San Jose City Hall, the New Bedford Art Museum in Massachusetts, and Platform in Munich, Germany. She is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Kala Fellowship-Residency Award; the 2010 Distinguished Artist Award by the City of Cupertino Fine Arts Commission; the 2011 Multicultural Arts Leadership Initiative Fellowship; and the 2012 School of Arts and Culture Grant in San Jose, CA. Karimi is a faculty member in the Department of Visual Arts at Cabrillo College in Aptos and maintains a studio in Cubberley Studios in Palo Alto, CA.


About the Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) in Mountain View: Community School of Music and Arts enhances the quality of life in our region by engaging our diverse community in high-quality arts education, performances and exhibitions. CSMA is a center for arts education where children and adults can learn and develop their artistic skills. Any student is welcome here, from the complete novice to the professional wanting to cross train and be stimulated by contact with peers. Those who can’t afford tuition are invited to apply for financial aid. CSMA is a cultural mirror of the region it serves. The school offers a diverse curriculum reflective of our changing society and then celebrates that diversity through performance and  CSMA strengthens the fabric of our community by engaging youth in creative activities that develop discipline, problem-solving skills and decision making, and give them a sense of achievement and personal worth. CSMA: http://www.arts4all.org
About the Euphrat Museum of Art, De Anza College, in Cupertino: The Euphrat Museum of Art’s mission is to research, produce and present challenging exhibitions and educational materials that provide a resource of visual ideas and a platform for communications. Our highly regarded Museum traditionally presents one-of-a-kind exhibitions, publications, and events reflecting the rich diverse heritage of our area. Our exhibitions and publications highlight our heritage of different cultures; enhance understanding of art fundamentals, art history, and esthetics; and augment college instruction. The Euphrat offers exhibitions that showcase emerging artists and artists with national and international reputations. Educational materials and public programming, such as lectures and receptions, complement the exhibitions. We also present student shows featuring art by local elementary and middle school students and De Anza College students. For three decades, the Euphrat has presented one-of-a-kind exhibitions, publications, and events reflecting the rich diverse heritage of our area. We have featured quality contemporary exhibitions of national and international stature in various media, focusing on political, social, and historical issues. Euphrat Museum of Art: http://www.deanza.edu/euphrat/
About the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose: The Mexican Heritage Corporation serves the Silicon Valley and Northern California by presenting and advancing Mexican and multicultural performing arts. MHP celebrates, promotes and preserves the beauty of Mexico’s culture and showcases multicultural arts in the region. Mexican heritage Plaza: www.schoolofartsandculture.org

Participating Elementary Schools Teachers: Rita Cole (Nimitz), Claudia Cadenas (San Antonio) and Rosalyn Carson (Theuerkauf).


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