Art by Bushra


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Born in Syria, Bushra Shamma lived in a number of countries, including Kuwait and England before relocating to New York, then to Northern Virginia.

Bushra’s work benefits from her multi-cultural background and experiences. Her forms and her vivid colors re-interpret her emotional reactions to her personal history.

Bushra has a B.Sc in Computing and Statistics from London, England, a Masters in Management from M.I.T. and a Masters in Education from Harvard. She worked in Banking and I.T. before becoming a Mathematics teacher in New York.  In that role, she realized that even though she had not had the opportunity to study art as a youngster, it was never too late to start learning. So in the year 2000, while still working full-time, she embarked on a new journey, taking art classes at The Art Student League and at the National Academy of Design School in New York as well as attending workshops at Hudson River Valley.

Then in 2004-2005, taking a sabbatical, she spent 9 months at three different artist residencies, one in Spain, one in India and the last one in Cyprus where she taught a Figure Drawing class at an art school and had a solo show at a gallery in Limassol.

In New York, Bushra’s work has been exhibited often in group shows as well as in a few solo shows.

Since her move to Northern Virginia in 2008, Bushra has continued to study at various venues including the Smithsonian, the Corcoran and The Art League School. She shows her work often, most recently in juried shows at The Art League Gallery in Alexandria, in Alexandria City Hall, at Del Ray Gallery, and at Falls Church Arts gallery.

Most recently she exhibited work in three different NY galleries. 

Some her work has received First Place as well as Honorable Mention awards.

Artist Statement

It is my belief that art, in all its forms, represents the highest form of human endeavor. It is furthest from our most basic and primal needs, but nevertheless fulfills a very important and necessary role in our lives. For me as the artist it represents the need to communicate and share with others as well as a drive to leave a mark that is less ephemeral and longer lasting than oneself. As the viewer, I experience wonder, sharing and appreciation of another’s creation.

I started making art relatively late in life, and it has given me much joy. Recently, I have been working primarily with acrylic, mixed media, and collage to create abstract pieces.  My pieces are on canvas or on paper which is then either framed or mounted on wooden cradled boxes. It is not easy for me to clearly describe my process, as it depends on my initial creative impulse; sometimes it is an idea informed by my mathematical background; at other times my Middle Eastern heritage of calligraphic art and sun drenched colors is the driving force. Then it is a journey of often frustrating and sometimes serendipitous paths that leads me towards a place of esthetic satisfaction.

I am inspired by many forms of art, including theater and dance performances, and of course by many painters, old masters as well as modern and contemporary. My aim in most of my work is to create art that lifts the soul from the mundane and the ugly to where we are reminded that humans are capable of rising above petty rivalries, greed and hate.