Khani’s ‘Pieces’ highlights home and shelter at art gallery opening reception

One of the various “Pieces” in art collection by Long Beach artist, Sara Hassan Khani, on display at the art gallery opening reception. Need Parvaneh | Lariat

Long Beach artist emphasizes home and shelter in “Pieces,” an exhibit available now at the campus Art Gallery until Nov. 4. The gala features various art pieces by Khani, a Long Beach-based multidisciplinary artist and art educator. “Pieces” captures various explorations such as time, memory and solitude. Khani shares the inspirations of her artworks, and reflected on the stories behind the paintings collection.

“These particular pieces started with the idea of home,” Khani said at an opening reception on Sept. 15. “I started working on these during the pandemic, so I was spending a lot of time at home, and the idea was about home as a sanctuary and as a shelter and as a place you find safety and privacy in.” 

Myriads of cultural designs and stories are encapsulated throughout Khani’s collections. She explained that her artworks are reflective of her life, using her artistry to express pivotal aspects of her upbringing, but, also narrating her life’s story through her drawings and designs. 

“Because of my background as a Persian, I come from a country that public spaces play an important role in our culture,” Khani said. “And we are usually decorative, and there’s a lot of work that goes into designing a bowl, a carpet, wallpaper— everything is decorated and I tried to bring that idea into my work.” 

Both Western art and Iranian cultural design patterns are influential aspects embellished throughout Khanis creations. She said “Pieces” is a reflection of various cultural perspectives. She also shared these were integral stories being reflected through the collections of paintings when it came to her creative process.

“I was trying to combine the flatness and the lack of perspective in Persian painting, with the idea of perspective in western art, and trying to experiment with that contrast and incorporate Persian patterns and flatness with it,” Khani said. 

Khani’s collection consists of various mixed media like oil on canvas and print media incorporated throughout the exhibit. Khani’s paintings dated back to the early beginnings of the pandemic.

“This project started in 2020, and because of the pandemic I could not have my show happening at that time,” Khani said. “It was only the installation that I did during that time, and I finished it two years ago.” 

Bella Wilson, a Saddleback College student and first-time attendee at the opening reception of the art gala, shared her perspective and experience of viewing the various collections of art pieces at the gallery. 

“It’s amazing, I love all the mushroom themes, and it’s really cool,” Wilson said. “We are very lucky to have this on campus” 

Barbra Holmes, an art director and curator for the gala, said “Pieces” is designed to create “a real, intimate experience” for attendees.

“The hope of art is that it’s trying to communicate something to everyone, and the hope is that they come in, they have a real intimate experience in person with the artwork,” Holmes said. “That they look at what the artist is trying to communicate through the artist’s statement, and also take in their own personal interpretation and meaning in what they are seeing.”

Enjoy “Pieces” from now till Nov. 4 at Saddleback’s art gallery on campus.