Arts, Museum Exhibits and Events

Painting Prayers: The Calligraphic Art of Salma Arastu

When: Sun., Sept. 13, 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Tuesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Continues through Dec. 6 2015

Islamic calligraphy is forever linked to the words of the Prophet; because figurative art was believed to lead to idolatry, early Muslim cultures created intricate and beautiful designs made of words and phrases for ornamentation. Indian-born artist Salma Arastu embraces this tradition in her work. She uses a flowing hand to inscribe beloved passages from the Qur'an, as well as the writings of the poet Rumi and the Hindu saint Meera Bai, atop color field paintings to create visible meditations of peace and hope. Even if you can't read the words, Arastu's paintings radiate a sense of harmonious calm. Painting Prayers: The Calligraphic Art of Salma Arastu, the new exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art on Saint Louis University's campus (221 North Grand Boulevard; 314-977-7170 or www.mocra.slu.edu), opens with a free public reception from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, September 13. Her work remains up through Sunday, December 6, and the gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free.

Paul Friswold

Price: free admission (donations accepted)