Indiana State University Newsroom

MFA art exhibit on display in Bare-Montgomery Gallery

November 19, 2010

For one master's of fine arts student at Indiana State University, water is more than a clear, tasteless, essential liquid. It is the medium through which she expresses herself.

Soulaf Abas prefers to work with water to create watercolor paintings because water "has a mind of its own."

"Many people perceive watercolor to be one of the hardest mediums to deal with," Abas said. "For me, it is so smooth and natural. I don't mind how the painting changes after the water dries. I trust the water."

Many of Abas's works of art are featured in her exhibition "Water and Other Elements: Exhibition and Sale" on display until Nov. 26 in the Bare-Montgomery Art Gallery in Fairbanks Hall. The gallery is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Abas uses not only water, but also oil for her paintings. The exhibition includes a variety of artwork, including oil paintings, prints and homemade cards.

Inspired by the places she has visited in Europe, Egypt and the United States, Abas has depicted her memories of each place in her art.

"I am fascinated by colors and even more fascinated by the memories of places and how places end up being like phantoms, very vague and abstract," she said. "We lose all the details about the place. Yet, we still remember the essence of what attracted us in the first place, and that, to me, is usually color."

Indiana landscapes as well as her home in Damascus, Syria, are represented in her artwork.

Abas enjoys receiving feedback from those who view her artwork because it aids her in her evaluation of herself and her art.

"Every time I show my work, I feel like I gained a new understanding of it," Abas said. "I feel like I can become a better painter. I feel that I can move on and that is essential to making progress in my field."

Watercolor paintings, prints, oil paintings and handmade cards are available for purchase at the art gallery, located in Fairbanks Hall on Seventh Street.

The Bare-Montgomery gallery is run exclusively by students and enables student artists to gain valuable experience by allowing the public to view their artwork.

Contact: Alden Cavanaugh, department of art chairperson, Indiana State University, 812-237-3697 or

Writer: Lana Schrock, media relations assistant, Indiana State University, 812-237-3773 or