iMamas (stands for international Mamas) Artists is a group of five women born in five different countries finding each other in the United States. Founded in 2017, the group has developed into a dynamic international collective, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We challenge and encourage each other to learn new skills, as well as to develop existing ones so that we can find new ways of expressing ourselves through a variety of mediums. We hold annual art shows at Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea Ypsi and display our work in local exhibitions and competitions. Selected work can be viewed on our personal websites. We accept invitations to exhibits and commissions.
Therese Basha Jarjoura is a Palestinian-American artist and children books’ author. She is originally from Nazareth, lived in Italy for several years and currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Therese holds an associate’s in architecture, is a Life-Coach, and is working on a Fine Art degree. To her, art involves a never-ending journey of learning and discovery. In 2017, she attended a month-long art residency in Florence Italy, and has participated in many shows including virtual ones. She is a member of several art organizations including AAWA and is a founding member of the group iMamas Artists.
Therese believes in giving back to her community and has donated several pieces for auction to benefit varied charities and organizations. In addition, she is a US goodwill ambassador for the Nazareth Hospital.
As for her art, she leans towards impressionism, depicting the abstraction of real-life using multiple media, techniques, and styles, which matches her art to her personality and moods:
Acrylic-Naughty; Oil- Soft and Mysterious; Charcoal-Drama; Watercolor-Free and transparent; and Pastel-Childlike.
Formerly a pickle packer, theater major, crisis counselor and occupational therapist with a BA in Communications and a BS in Occupational Therapy, only to discover she has always been an artist.
A self-taught sculptor, Barbara then searched out instruction from artists that included Jane Bunge, Maurice Lowe, Debra Fritts and Sunkoo Yuh.
Last year, she had the honor participate in a three month artist residency at the Lviv National Academy of Arts in Ukraine.
Barbara's work is in collections around the world and exhibited throughout the United States and Canada. Most recently her sculptures were included in a booth at the SOFA expo in Chicago, sponsored by Women Made Gallery.Her work is also available for purchase at the River's Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, MI.
Barbara continues to explore new ideas and techniques. She is also available for private lessons and commissions.
Growing up in Finland, the most important lesson I learned was the love of nature. I spend a lot of time playing in the forest with all the wonderful materials that nature provided. Even when I grew older, I loved the woods and often went on walks to commune with nature. It was on one of my walks that I had my first spiritual experience; I felt an absolute beautiful oneness with the universe. It became clear to me that there was more to life than what was visible to our physical eyes. My paintings reflect these experiences and often tell a story of interconnectedness of life.
I like to experiment with different media. Right now, I am in love with live edge wood, which I find very inspiring. With some paintings I let the wood tell me what is hidden in it and for other ideas I search for a specific piece of wood. I use mostly colored pencils, acrylic inks and paints, and gold. The gold in my art symbolizes universal love, the invisible world and the life force that unites all life.
I studied art at the Art Students’ League of New York, NYC - drawing with Gustav Rehberger, printmaking with Seong Moy, and painting with David Leffel, Robert Malone and Richard Goetz.
I navigated my path into art after many years of searching. Originally from L’viv, Ukraine, I came to the U.S. after UK’s BBC World Service assignment to pursue graduate studies in business, economics, and anthropology at Wayne State University in Detroit while spending most of my weekends at the Detroit Institute of Arts, learning to draw from the masters. While working for the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation in Washington, DC, I applied my Ukrainian heritage and design skills by being involved in promotion of economic development of Ukraine through editorship of business publications. I renewed my interest in art after moving back to Michigan, by taking classes at the Ann Arbor Art Center and Washtenaw Community College, and learning from Janet Kohler, Bob Banks, Mary Thiefels, Lea Bult, Sarah Clark Davis, Nick Reszetar, Nancy Flanagan, Kathy Hiner, Jill Jepsen, Nemnja Rosic, and others.
As a graduate student in cultural anthropology at Wayne State University, I explored the processes of identity transformation that took place among women artists in Ann Arbor area by collecting their life histories. As part of a cultural project, Barbara Melnik Carson, Therese Basha (iMamas) and me participated in Art Show/Sale to benefit injured in Ukraine’s protests. As an atelierista at Ann Arbor preschool, I also strive to instill my love of art into young children through Reggio Emilia philosophy.
I derive inspiration from the depth and contrast of colors and by fantastic and experimental subjects. In my drawings, I always start with a curvy line and let the search for an interesting fit between shapes, colors, and thoughts take hold of my movements on the paper. I am fascinated by human emotions and states of being and enjoy portraiture. In the future, I hope to incorporate some of my artwork into upcycled fabric design.
I have always been an image maker. Drawing and painting were activities that furnish some of my earliest childhood memories when at age two I drew a big shape creature with a red fat crayon on my mother’s beautiful white wall and nobody said a word.
I attended art school in Estonia since I was six years old, where I studied painting and drawing. After graduating from high school in Estonia, I studied art and photography in Finland and America. Also I am passionate about psychology. I have a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan. I am currently working as a psychotherapist and I am also a part time artist. Since, I have spent a lifetime pursuing all things creative I bring this collective experience to my work as a psychotherapist specializing in addiction and trauma counseling.
I try in my pictures to move and inspire people. My work is about being in touch with my deepest self. My images are both reflection and expression in that I do not aim or plan a final picture, but instead allow myself to be found within it as it occurs. I know this process of art making has given me my voice back. Often I have made these pictures in times when words fail to express what my inner self wants to say but does not know how or feels too scared to speak the truth. I use my intuition to express all what is hidden inside my soul in order to bring the beautiful and not so beautiful parts of me into the light. I am fascinated mythology, Carl Jung and one of my favorite books is "Women Running with Wolves."
My work has evolved from black and white infrared landscapes to colorful pictures that look more like paintings than photos. I produce prints by taking digital photographs and scanning objects into a computer using a flatbed scanner then layering and manipulating these images using Adobe Photoshop into a surrealist montage. I often use things that are sentimental to me such as my daughters summer dress when she was 2 year old or my grandmothers handwritten letter she sent me over many years. Finally, in recent years I have also started to use resin, decoupage, watercolor or gold pen to accentuate the final print.
I consider my work as“digital originals” as they are created on my computer with a scanner and do not exist on film.