Diverse cultures intersect as Islamic Arts Festival gets underway in Spring

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- A celebration of culture and community will get underway this weekend as the 8th Islamic Arts Festival unfolds.

The Islamic Arts Society said the event is meant to bridge diverse communities through a variety of mediums at the Masjid AlSalam Mosque in Spring.

From Dec. 11-12, the mosque will be converted into an art exhibition, showcasing the work of 50 local artists, including Shaheen Rahman, who serves on Islamic Arts Society's board.

"If you've not been inside one and you've always wondered what a mosque looks like on the inside, it's a great opportunity," Rahman said.

Visitors can participate in live demonstrations, and will experience a wide collection of art, including calligraphy, woodwork, henna and ceramics.

"It's amazing, some of the conversations that take place around art pieces, you know, at the end when we walk away, we find out all about the commonalities that we have instead of the differences," Rahman said.

Rahman shared that art is a rich part of the Islamic world.

"At the Islamic Art Society, we like to celebrate this rich heritage, and we invite everybody to come share this rich culture," Rahman said.

The festival is free to attend and open to the entire family. Children can create their own artwork to take home, and food trucks will be available for attendees to try new flavors and bites.

Fifty-two percent of Americans stated in a recent Pew Research poll that they know very little to "nothing at all" about Islam.

"It's a great way for us to share this heritage with the broader community, and present a more positive image of the community here in the U.S., and in the process, build bridges and bring people together," Rahman said.

The Masjid AlSalam Mosque is located at 16700 Old Louetta Road, in Spring.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.