why I make art​​​​​​

Through my work, I try to push through the walls of my daily anxiety as well as the loud noise created by the chaotic world around me that's helped generate that anxiety. I also attempt to break out of molds that society has assigned to Iranian women and women in general. From using bright colors to bold, assertive facial expressions and implementing the unexpected combination of charcoal and paint, I find ways to step outside the endless loop of constricted thinking. I hope my pieces show that the definition of what it means to be a woman or Iranian woman is not singular. Personally, my goal is also to get as close as I can to seeing myself clearly and without outside filters through the fierce, unapologetic women I create in my portraits.

In my art, and often in my mind, I’m also navigating the sense of having two identities: one in which I feel at home in Seattle where I was born and raised, and the other where I feel safest in my Iranian home and around my family as it’s the Persian culture that raised me; and as I think about the two together, I ultimately thank my parents who immigrated in the 60s and 70s and who gave me the multifaceted life I have today. The first exhibit I curated, Home Away From Home at the Julian Peña Gallery, explores the experience of growing up in the U.S. and abroad while being of Middle Eastern descent.
about me

Hi, I'm Shirene, meaning "sweet" or "pleasant" in Farsi. I'm a Seattle-based artist and curator. My mom's side of the family has had oil painters, guitar players and other creative thinkers, and since childhood I always needed an outlet for my intense energy, so art has been a big part of my life. When I'm not working full-time as a graphic designer, I’m drawing portraits, writing poetry, brainstorming dance choreography and listening to TV/movie scores. I also enjoy posting hygge-related things on Instagram @persianmillennial as well as lovingly smothering my large cat, Simba.

upcoming exhibitions​​​​​​ & events

Belltown Art Walk (Seattle, WA), May 13, 2022
Tractor Tavern Makers Market (Seattle, WA), June 12, 2022
past exhibitions​​​​​​ & events

Art/Not Terminal Gallery (Seattle, WA), 2012
Pittsburgh Lunch & Superette (Seattle, WA), 2017
Cafe Cesura (Bellevue, WA), 2017
Wheelhouse Coffee (Seattle, WA), 2017
Freshy's (Seattle, WA), May 2018
CoCA (Center on Contemporary Art) (Seattle, WA), May 2018
CoCA (Center on Contemporary Art) (Seattle, WA), March 7 - April 20, 2019
Elliott Bay Brewing Company (Burien, WA), April 2019
Third Culture Coffee (Bellevue, WA), June 201
Chophouse Row’s Art Walk (Seattle, WA), August & September 2019
Belltown Art Fair (Seattle, WA), October 3, 2019
Tractor Tavern Makers Market (Seattle, WA), November 10, 2019
Punk Rock Flea Market (Seattle, WA), December 7, 2019
Holiday RAWk 2019 (Seattle, WA), December 12, 2019
Holiday Pop-Up at Anthem Coffee (Puyallup, WA), December 21, 2019
Harper’s Hair Studio (Seattle, WA), February - April 2020
Belltown Art Walk (Seattle, WA), Virtual Art Exhibition Oct. 12 - 19, 2020
Sassafras (Seattle, WA), Virtual Exhibition Nov. 13 - Dec. 7; Instagram Showcase Nov. 13 - 20, 2020
Julian Peña Gallery (Seattle, WA), March 4 - 26, 2021
Tractor Tavern Makers Market (Seattle, WA), August 8, 2021
Julian Peña Gallery Home Away From Home (Seattle, WA), August 5 - September 24, 2021 (as curator)
Julian Peña Gallery Night Light (Seattle, WA), February 10 - 28, 2022 (as curator)
Tractor Tavern Makers Market (Seattle, WA), December 12, 2021
Tractor Tavern Makers Market (Seattle, WA), March 13, 2022

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