Dr. Sharon LaVon Parker is currently a faculty member in the Department of Art and Design, at Kuwait University College for Women, Kuwait where she teaches courses in art and architectural history and contemporary art theory. In January 2009 she will return to teaching in the Department of Art and Design at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Her interest in contemporary Iranian women artists and their artwork developed during the years she spent living in Iran, and her training in art history, theory, and painting. She has presented numerous papers about contemporary Iranian and Emirati women artists at conferences in the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Great Britain, and written many exhibition catalogue essays on their works. Dr. Parker is currently working on a manuscript about a selection of contemporary Iranian women artists and their works. She is the recipient of the Best Theses Award (April 2006) from the Iranian Studies Group – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Sharif University of Technology Alumni Association.
Dr. Christopher K. Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University. He has lived in Abu Dhabi since 2000. He is author of The Encyclopedia of Travel Literature (ABC Clio, 2000), Images of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (Explorer, 2002), Sharjah’s Architectural Splendour (Explorer, 2003), Dubai: Tomorrow’s City Today (Explorer, 2003), and (contributor to the anthology) Encounters With the Middle East (Solas House, 2007).
Dr. Alma Kadragic is the director of the Zayed University Media Center in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where she has been living, working, and studying economic and cultural development for three years. She covered the US and Europe during 16 years with ABC News as producer and bureau chief, leaving broadcasting to set up and manage Alcat Communications International, a public relations and marketing agency with headquarters in Poland. She is the author of two books, A Handbook of Public Relations published in Poland (1996, 1997) and Globalization and Human Rights from Chelsea House (2005); chapters in books on economic development and broadcasting; and numerous articles on public relations, media, and entrepreneurship. Dr. Kadragic earned a Ph.D in English literature from the City University of New York after completing M.A. and B.A. degrees at City College of New York.
Emily Doherty has been living and working in Abu Dhabi for two years. She has worked for Sotheby’s Middle East and Gulf, Art Dubai, The Abu Dhabi Collectors’ Programme and is currently managing Dubai’s Bastakiya Art Fair for 2009. She also teaches Art History at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed University.
Karen Oremus was born in Montreal, Canada. She has worked as an artist and educator internationally in Canada, the United States, Italy, England, Germany, China, Estonia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Japan and the Middle East. She received her BFA in Printmaking and a BA in Roman Archaeology at Concordia University in Montreal Canada. She studied Painting at the Academia di Belli Arte di Roma, (Academy of Fine Arts in Rome), Italy, and completed her archaeological field school at the University of Warwick in Coventry England. Karen graduated with her MFA in Printmaking from the Tyler School of Art of Temple University, in Philadelphia; where she also went on to teach printmaking for two years. Karen is currently in her sixth year working as an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates, where she teaches painting, drawing and printmaking. Karen is responsible for the establishment and development of the first printmaking studio and printmaking discipline in the nation’s capital, at Zayed University’s Abu Dhabi campus.
Lisa Isaacson is an Associate Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. She has published poems most recently in New American Writing, Bateau, Denver Quarterly and American Letters & Commentary.
Colleen Quigley is Assistant Professor of Art in the Art and Design Department at Zayed University. She received her BFA in Sculpture from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A. and MFA from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, in Tokyo, Japan where she focused on contemporary Japanese printmaking. She also attended the New York Academy of Art Graduate Program in figurative Studies in Painting. She is the recipient of the Japanese Monbusho Research and Yoneyama Memorial Foundation Scholarships. Her work includes painting, sculpture/installation and printmaking. She has exhibited in Japan, the United States and the U.A.E. Her current series of works focus on migration, identity and changing cultural spaces.
Janet Bellotto is an artist, writer and curator from Toronto who currently works in Dubai as Assistant Professor, Visual Arts, Zayed University, Dubai. Her practice encompasses sculpture, installation, photography, video and performance. She has initiated various artist collectives both in Toronto and Montreal based on producing site-specific work or using spaces outside of gallery walls and creating cultural art exchanges. A graduate from the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, she received an MFA from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. She has also exhibited in Toronto, Montreal, New Orleans, Mexico City, Dubai and Venice. The recipient of various grants, Janet continues to move and while her interests lie in underwater worlds, she retraces her steps for the contents of her purse in search of abandoned castles and the best espress.