Category Archives Art & Creative Works

Jim Dennis’ Latest Album ‘The Daystar of Baha’

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Jim Dennis is passionate about pioneering new soundscapes when it comes to Baha’i-inspired music and his latest album, The Daystar of Baha, does just that. Jim has six albums available for download on Bandcamp and his latest is his second album with a deep connection to the Writings of the Baha’i Faith (his first is called Spreading Rays of Light and was inspired by his desire to better memorize the quotations found in the Ruhi books). Jim graciously agreed to tell us more about his music, his creative process, and how it all comes together in his studio:  Continue reading

Melissa Charepoo’s Children’s Books for Ayyam-i-Ha, the Fast & Naw-Ruz

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When Melissa Charepoo couldn’t find resources to explain Ayyam-i-Ha, the Fast and Naw-Ruz to her children, she went out and made them herself! I admire her gumption and devotion tremendously! She wrote and illustrated two books: Celebrating Ayyam-i-Ha Around the World and Observing the Fast and Celebrating Naw-Ruz Around the World. I am excited about Melissa’s accomplishments and wanted to hear more about the process of putting these books together.

Baha’i Blog: Hi Melissa! Thank you so much for joining us! To begin, could you please tell us a little about yourself and your work writing children’s books?

Continue reading

Cellar and Sky: An Album by Yosi Mesbah

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I’m so excited about featuring Yosi Mesbah’s album, Cellar and Sky, on Baha’i Blog. It’s a hauntingly honest, uplifting and moving album where her folksy and jazzy timbered voice beautifully sings about dealing with life’s tests and difficulties in a lyrical but down-to-earth way. I can’t help but feel moved when I hear her album, and I had the pleasure of meeting Yosi at the recent Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference in Arizona a couple of months ago. As you know I love asking artists about their creative process and was glad when Yosi agreed to tell us more about her album and her experiences in putting it together. Continue reading

The Journey of the Soul: An Illustrated Reflection

November, 2015. Ink pencil on paper.

November, 2015. Ink pencil on paper.

“One body, two souls!” a friend exclaimed when he saw me during my pregnancy. Shoghi Effendi explains that the soul or spirit of a human being is associated with the body at the moment of conception. The soul is a mystery, an intangible, untouchable and yet essential part of who we are. Abdu’l-Baha explains,

The essence of the human soul is clarified from material substances and purified from the embodiment of physical things. It is exclusively luminous; it has no body; it is a dazzling pencil of light; it is a celestial orb of brightness.

I was in a coffee shop when I found out I was pregnant and began reflecting on the transformation that was taking place, as well as this notion of the soul. Describing this discovery, I wrote:  Continue reading

Transformation: An Illustrated Nine-Month Reflection

The day I found out you were here too. Gorgeous day. Red dress. I sat on a tree stump. Dec. 2015, ink pencil on paper.

The day I found out you were here too. Gorgeous day. Red dress. I sat on a tree stump. Dec. 2015, ink pencil on paper.

Before finding out I was pregnant, I had been speaking with friends a lot about the idea of transformation. Baha’u’llah writes:

…is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions?

Pregnancy, the most literal human example of transformation I could experience, inspired a kind of search. By engaging meaningfully with the ever-changing circumstances of our lives, we give ourselves the opportunity to transform. As I clocked the seemingly endless google searches of pregnancy and thought of my own rite of passage into motherhood, I yearned to read about the spiritual dynamics of this transformation. The following drawings and musings are my reflections about my spiritual transformation.  Continue reading

Screenprinting for Social Change – The Artistic Works of Melanie King Dollie

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Melanie King Dollie is a California–born creative with a background in printmaking and cultural anthropology. Having lived and worked in China, Israel, Latin America, and currently living in Sydney, Australia, she’s passionate about the exploration and use of the arts in helping with social change, so it’s no wonder that Melanie and I hit it off straight away when we fist met recently in Sydney.

Melanie agreed to be interview by Baha’i Blog about her art and the ideas behind her work: Continue reading

You Don’t Need to be an “Artist” to Integrate the Arts into your Study Circle

Shadow puppet show in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. (Photo: Baha'i World Centre)

Shadow puppet show in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. (Photo: Baha'i World Centre)

This article is for those of you who either feel “terrified”, or maybe just simply “at a loss” when it comes to integrating the arts into your study circles. You know that we are urged by the Ruhi Institute to “include artistic endeavours in the activity of every study circle”, and that we should not think of these endeavours as “entertainment or as an extracurricular activity…but as an essential element enhancing the spiritual development of the participants”.

But how do we do this when we don’t feel necessarily musical, artistic, or dramatic? Continue reading

Persian Calligraphy with a Twist: The Works of Reza Mostmand

Reza Mostmand 864x575Reza Mostmand has been practicing and developing the art of Persian Calligraphy since he was a young student in Shiraz, Iran.

Years later while volunteering at the Baha’i World Centre in Israel as a Digital Imaging Restoration Specialist, he had the unique opportunity of being exposed to marvellous works of early masters of Persian calligraphy. This exposure to those historic pieces along with the teachings of the Baha’i Faith are his continuous source of inspiration and motivation.

Now based in Toronto, Canada, Reza works as a senior designer at 19gale, a design, web and multi-media agency which he co-founded over 3 years ago. But that hasn’t stopped Reza from putting ink to paper and continuing the tradition of Persian calligraphy while adding his own unique spin to the art form. His work has been featured in local exhibitions and conferences, and he offers calligraphy workshops for youth and adults where they explore the history of calligraphy through drama, and are taught the basic rules followed by hands-on practice.

I’ve been following Reza’s artwork for quite some time now, and I was finally able to corner him and ask him some questions about his wonderful art: Continue reading