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Santa Clara University's de Saisset Museum explores the practice of veiling through a thought-provoking exhibition

Monday, Jan. 3, 2011

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Jan. 3, 2011 – The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University will explore the topic of the veil through a provocative exhibition of contemporary women artists. The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces will open to the public on Jan. 15 and will be on view through March 11.

The veiling of women, men, and sacred places has existed in countless cultures and religions throughout history. Veiling expands far beyond Islam and the Middle East, yet is vastly misunderstood. This traveling exhibition features more than 30 works of art that examine the veil from myriad perspectives. Divided loosely into three thematic sections—the sacred veil, the sensuous veil, and the sociopolitical veil—the show aims to transcend popular clichés and stereotypes about the practice of veiling and to present the subject in a broader and more universal context.

Composed of works by 29 national and international artists, The Veil addresses issues such as modesty, oppression, liberation, freedom of expression, spirituality, nature, and magic. The artists represent diverse backgrounds, spiritual practices, and points of view. Through their work, they challenge, condemn, embrace, and praise the veil.

The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces is curated by Jennifer Heath and serves as a visual companion to her edited volume, The Veil: Women Writers on its History, Lore, and Politics (University of California Press, 2008). The exhibition features works in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and new media.

Artists in the exhibition include Sama Alshaibi, Elizabeth Bisbing, Christine Breslin, Rebecca DiDomenico, Yassi Golshani, Ana Maria Hernando, Valari Jack, Tania Kamal-Eldin, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Anita Kunz, Judith Selby Lang, Mary Tuma, Kim Turos, and Helen Zughaib.

The Veil: Visible and Invisible Spaces opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 15. A free celebratory reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In conjunction with The Veil and in partnership with the Religious Studies Department at SCU, the de Saisset Museum will invite leaders of diverse religious communities to reflect on the exhibition and to share their perspectives on the history and practice of veiling. The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

In addition, the de Saisset will host its annual College Night event, an evening of free art, activities, and education geared to college students, on Feb. 24 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information about this exhibition and the accompanying programs, visit

Media Contact:
Lindsey Kouvaris | de Saisset Museum | 408-554-4528 | 408-554-7840 fax |

About the de Saisset Museum
The de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University is the South Bay’s free museum of art and history. The museum was founded adjacent to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís on the Santa Clara University campus in 1955 and is one of only three museums in the South Bay accredited by the American Association of Museums. The de Saisset Museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets objects of art and history for the educational and cultural enrichment of all people. The museum achieves its mission through an active program of exhibitions, collections, education programs, and publications.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California’s oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see

Mary Tuma, Homes for the Disembodied, 50 continuous yards of silk
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