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 Nassan Abiskhairoun Gobran  (1915 - 1992)

About: Nassan Abiskhairoun Gobran


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Lived/Active: Arizona / Egypt      Known for: sculpture, set design, art center director

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Inspired by the natural beauty of Sedona, Egyptian sculptor, Nassan Gobran and a group of local visionaries recognized the need for a place where artists could work, teach, and learn together. In 1958, they established Sedona's first art center, "Canyon Kiva." They purchased the old Jordan Apple Packing Barn, now known as the Art Barn, which quickly became the community's creative and social hub.

Today the Sedona Arts Center is a rich legacy of the founders' vision. As one of Northern Arizona's oldest 501(c) 3 nonprofit organizations it continues to be a gathering place where artists and those who love art can explore, teach and exhibit. The Arts Center has grown into an educational institution dedicated to nurturing creative discovery, learning and sharing through arts education and artistic development with an international presence.

Nassan Gobran played a significant role in the development of arts in Sedona.  Before coming to Arizona in 1950 at the invitation of Hamilton Warren, founder of the Verde Valley School, he had been teaching in Boston. He met Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning and as indicated above with the discussion of the Art Center, got heavily involved in stirring arts interest in the community. In 1956, he started a summer graduate arts school and purchased "The Barn" for a Sedona Arts Center. It opened in 1961 with a fifty piece orchestra entertaining the guests.

Sedona Arts Center,
Adrian J. Ivakhiv, Claiming Sacred Ground: Pilgrims and Politics at Glastonbury and Sedona, p. 158

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