Two more artists join LCSNW refugee art show in Beaverton

by | Oct 9, 2023 | Event, Refugees & Immigrants, Staff Spotlight

Ghulam Ali Danish Kamal, who goes by Danish, is a longtime artist who fled Afghanistan in October 2021. Danish, his wife Marzia, their three sons and his parents arrived in Washington state the following May and became clients of Lutheran Community Services Northwest.

This June, Danish joined LCSNW as a case manager helping refugees. He is based in Portland at our Cesar Chavez Boulevard office. 

Danish’s art was featured in the final LCSNW refugee art show of 2023 The Oct. 12 show at Village Church in Beaverton also welcomed one other new artist: Zainab Mehdi, an Iraqi refugee who does traditional Arab beadwork and creations from recycled materials.

The show also featured four artists who have generously shared their works with us for over a year: Luba Gonina, originally from Ukraine; Mahshid Erfanfard, from Iran; Akram Sarraj, from Iraq; and Maryam Azizpour, from Afghanistan. To watch a video about the original four artists, click here.

Danish’s art includes oil painting and graphite drawings. He said his landscape paintings are drawn largely from his imagination and that art is something he’s been doing since he was about seven years old. He earned his two-year diploma in fine arts prior to turning 20 and went on to earn a master’s degree in social work from an Afghanistan university. 

He eventually held a leadership role within the Afghanistan / American Chamber of Commerce that involved traveling globally to pitch businesses on the benefits of operating in Afghanistan. He also served as executive director of an Afghanistan builders association.  

Art, however, has been a constant for Danish. His work has been shown in several countries outside of Afghanistan. Upon arriving in the United States last May, Danish said he knew he wanted to continue making artwork. 

“For seven months before I could get a job, I painted,” he said. His realism paintings feature alpine scenes, rivers, and forests.