Contemporary African artist, Hussein Saidi, combines traditional African themes with modern style. Saidi’s work is highly acclaimed internationally and has been on display at various locations including the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, Niger through Art in Embassies, Gdynia, Poland’s International Exhibition of Art, “Globaltica: Art Inspired by Traditional Cultures", the African American Museum of Philadelphia’s "Silent Voices, Loud Echos," Apex Gallery (DC) “A Tribute to Fiber Art”, New York City JVC Jazz Festival “Rhythm, Color and Harmony”, Art Association of Harrisburg (PA) – National Juried Show, Rockville (MD) Art Place “Inspired by Music”, and Meridian International Center – White Meyer Galleries (DC) to name a few. Saidi’s artwork was highlighted in Sunshine Artist Magazine’s “Under the Canopy,” with cover art and an article (Jan. 2006, 28 – 31). Saidi’s 2002 solo exhibit “Contradictions” represented his attempt to explore the human spirit, including reactions and feelings of those affected by tragic violence in the Washington, DC area. His solo show in May 2004, “Body Art” explored traditional and modern cultures’ use of body art. In 2006 for his solo exhibition, “Community Spirit” at the Heliport Gallery in Silver Spring, Saidi explored both positive and negative aspects of “progress”. Saidi has received many awards and honors, including:
* US Department of State’s “Homage to African-American Artists” calendar – 1 of 26 selected through the ART in Embassies Program – 2009
* Artist in Residence – Greenbelt Artist Community Center, Greenbelt, MD July 2006 – 2009
* Artists and Scholars Roster – Montgomery County, MD – July 2008 – July 2009
* Award of Distinction – Art League of Bonita Springs, Bonita Springs, FL – March 2009
* Best of Show – Stockley Garden Fall Art Show, Norfolk, VA – Oct 2008
* Award of Excellence – Art on the Square – Belleville, IL – May 2008
* 1st Place – St. Stephens Fine Art Festival – Coconut Grove, FL – Feb. 2008
* Best of Show – Easton Art Affair – Easton, OH – June 2007
* Best of Show – AnnMarie Garden Art Show, Solomons, MD – Sept 2006
* Award for Excellence – Arts, Beats & Eats Festival, Pontiac, MI – Sept 2005 and 2006
* 1st Place Mixed Media – Detroit Festival of the Arts, Detroit, MI – June 2005
* Guest Lecturer: Selected by Art Educator participants, Penn State University – July 2004
* Grant Award - “Art in the U.S. Fosters Understanding of the Islamic World” Puffin Foundation – Feb 2004
Saidi’s collection of art contains an overriding theme of community and family. When he was a boy, as is typical of children in Tanzania, Saidi created his own toys out of found-objects. Saidi now continues this process in his art, as he incorporates natural materials in his unique collages, which utilize materials such as barks, leaves, husks and other natural fibers. These materials may be woven, sewn or wrapped around other materials in the collage. Leaves, husks, natural fiber papers and other plant fibers may be hand-dyed cut, shredded and/or burnt. All materials are museum conservational, and all artwork is coated with protective varnishes to insure longevity.
Saidi is originally from Tanga, Tanzania, East Africa. He has made Maryland his home for thirteen years. Saidi is currently working as a professional artist out of his studio in Silver Spring, Maryland.