The Los Angeles/Islam Arts Initiative
together nearly 30 cultural institutions throughout Los Angeles to tell various
stories of traditional and contemporary art from multiple Islamic regions and
their significant global diasporas. LA/IAI is the first-of-its kind, wide-scale
citywide initiative on Islamic arts producing and presenting programming such
as art exhibitions, panels, discussions, and performances. Anchoring LA/IAI are
two connected exhibitions, Doris Duke's Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape,
and Islamic Art and the contemporary art exhibition, Shangri La: Imagined Cities
commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) to be held at DCA's
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) at Barnsdall Park from October 26
to December 28, 2014.
Los Angeles' substantial populations from areas with strong Islamic roots make LA
a compelling location for this initiative. LA/IAI casts a wide net, being inclusive and
welcoming, with art as its central focus. The term "Islamic art" includes work created
by non-Muslim artists from Muslim-dominant countries, work by Muslims creating art
in non-Muslim dominant countries, and work by artists culturally influenced by Islam.
Designed to build a greater understanding of the role of Islamic arts, LA/IAI seeks to
stimulate the global conversation in connection to cultural, political, and social issues.
The celebration of Islamic art and culture is presented by DCA with major support
from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the National Endowment for the Arts,
the California Community Foundation, the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts),
and the Barnsdall Park Foundation.