On the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, the New York Art Connection in New York recently organised a week long group art exhibition. The inaugural session of the group art exhibition opened at Art Connection Gallery, Long Island in New York. New York based Bangladeshi artist Khurshid Alam Saleem is the director and owner of the gallery.
Several New York based Bangladeshi artists and US artists (particularly Long Island) took part at the exhibition.
Participating artists were (New York based Bangladeshi artists) Matlab Ali, Kaniz Akbory, Rakibul Islam, Kaiser Kamal, Tipu Alam, Rajib Ahsan, Mahmud Hasan Rokon, Biswajit Chowdhury, Syed Azizur Rahman, Shamim Begum, Zebunnesa Kamal, Fazley Ali Kochi and Khurshid Alam Saleem.
US artists were Tom de Gruel, Emily Douglas, Reu'ven Gayle, Ellen Tasliman, Micheal Chait and Claude Hoyet.
Professor Matlub Ali, former dean and Professor of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University delivered the welcome speech and expressed Zainul Abedin's immense contributions to Bangladeshi art. A well-known figure for his leadership qualities in organising artists and art movements, Abedin took the initiative to found the Government Institute of Arts and Crafts (now Faculty of Fine Arts) in 1948 on Dhaka University campus, of which he was the founding principal. This institute trained and nurtured an entire generation of artists whose works reflected the changing times. Born in Mymensingh, Abedin grew up in the serene landscape by the river Brahmaputra - the river being a source of inspiration to the artist from an early childhood. In 1933, the artist enrolled at Calcutta Government Art School. Later he joined the faculty of the same institute after his graduation. He was an influential member of the Calcutta Group of progressive artists. A series of watercolours that Abedin did as his tribute to the Brahmaputra River earned him the Governor's Gold Medal in an all-India exhibition in 1938.