Syrian artist depicts peace and war through flour and dance


Using only flour, Syrian visual artist Emad “Jano” Hemede will create a work of art which will be “destroyed” in a live performance by a company of dancers in the outdoor labyrinth at the Delaware Art Museum on Saturday, September 16 at 7:00 p.m. Inspired by Middle Eastern symbols, music, and dance, the artist will depict how the peace and beauty that previously existed in Syria has been shattered by conflict.

This performance is part of the Museum’s Connected Series, which features events produced by the community, for the community. This event is free and open to the public.

“I chose flour as the medium for my work because flour, in my mind, symbolizes life because it gives life,” says Jano, former international artist-in-residence through the University of Delaware’s Art Bridging Cultures program and the English Language Insitute. “In my culture, flour is sacred and should not be used for anything except to sustain life.”

In the first of two performances, Jano will create intricate designs on a one thousand square foot canvas of flour using custom molds and laser cut stencils. As a medium for artistic expression, flour is incredibly delicate and is intended to symbolize life in its fragile form. For three days, Jano will sketch designs into flour. Interested volunteers may take part in this process of creation. In the second performance, a company of dancers from SHARP Dance Company will “destroy” the art. During the dance of destruction, the flour evokes the remnants of falling buildings, ashes, and life turned into dust, inviting the audience to experience both the difficulty of creating beauty and our own fleeting existence.

“The arts can help us make sense of the world we live in, and Jano’s work allows the viewer to empathize with the Syrian people at a human level,” said Jonathan Whitney, Community Connections & Performance Programs Specialist at the Delaware Art Museum. “The Delaware Art Museum is dedicated to providing space for audiences to experience transformational works of art like The Day Before Tomorrow and to have conversations around the issues they present in a stimulating environment.”

“Ultimately, my hope is that this event will increase people’s awareness of agony that war brings and the fragility of life and peace,” says Jano.

To view large images and caption information, click below.

About Emad Jano Hemede

Syrian artist Emad “Jano” Hemede is a former international artist-in-residence through the University of Delaware’s Art Bridging Cultures program and the English Language Insitute. Born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, Jano made his living in the capital, Damascus, where he ran a small gallery in one of the oldest, and busiest, parts of the city. Jano regularly met art lovers from all around the world. The experience of connecting with people from different cultures through art is the inspiration for this artistic philosophy: communicating the historically and artistically rich realities of Syria through creative aestheticism that is universal in its inclusiveness.

With the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, Jano moved to the United States, where he currently resides. He has since been working on a number of projects that share deep curiosity about the United States with nostalgic yet hopeful faith in the colors, stories, and futures of his home country of Syria.

A sculptor and oil painter by tradition, Jano incorporates acrylic paints into his art because they are water based. To Jano, water symbolizes the essence of life, a valued commodity often not available to his native people. His future work will describe his dream of the Syrian future, “which is nothing but its beautiful past.” Learn more at

About Connected Series 

Connected features events throughout the year produced by the community, for the community. Events and projects can be proposed and submitted by anyone in the Wilmington community and should be inspired by arts and culture and encourage community engagement. All events are free and open to the public. Connected events take place at the Museum, unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit


Support is provided by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on


Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum is recognized for its cornerstone collection of works by celebrated American artist and illustrator Howard Pyle, a Wilmington native, complemented by hundreds of works by some of the most talented illustrators.

Also renowned for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the largest and most significant Pre-Raphaelite collection outside of the United Kingdom, assembled by Samuel Bancroft, Jr., a Wilmington textile mill owner with a taste for Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other contemporaries of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

The Museum is famous for the preeminent collection of urban landscapes by American painter John Sloan and his circle. The Sloan collection lives alongside an esteemed survey of American art–spanning more than 200 years–from early 19th century through the present, including masterworks by Raphaelle Peale, Frederic Church, Thomas Eakins, Edward Hopper, Robert Motherwell, and Dale Chihuly. Visitors also enjoy the outdoor Copeland Sculpture Garden, featuring large-scale works by Tom Otterness and George Rickey.

For more than 100 years, the Museum has occupied a vibrant place in the life of the Brandywine Valley. More than a collection of beautiful objects, the Museum is a vital source of experiences and discoveries for visitors from around the world.

The Delaware Art Museum is at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806. Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and Friday – Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday: Closed. Adults (19-59) $12, Seniors (60+) $10, Students (with valid ID) $6, Youth (7-18) $6, and Children (6 and under) free. Admission fees are waived Thursdays 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sundays 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. thanks to support from generous individuals. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or 866-232-3714 (toll free), or visit

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