John Halaka is a visual artist and Professor of Visual Arts at the University of San Diego, where he has taught since 1991. He received his MFA in the Visual Arts from the University of Houston in 1983, and his B.A. in Fine Arts from the City University of New York Baccalaureate Program. John’s drawings, painting, photographs and documentary film projects are informed by the Palestinian experiences of displacement and the persistent desire of the refugees to reclaim their homes and homeland.
On his visit to IAAP, John Halaka writes:
"I am greatly enjoying the process of working with and getting to know the students at the Art Academy. They are a diverse group of bright and thoughtful young artists who will help to shape the future of Palestinian art and culture. Over the past decade, I have had the great privilege of getting to know, and in some cases of working and exhibiting with, several remarkable Palestinian artists that have shaped Palestinian visual culture since 1967. Many of those now senior and mid career artists have developed their work under severe conditions with minimal or non-existent internal or international support. The students at the Art Academy are tremendously privileged to follow in the footsteps of those two generations of pioneering artists that mentor them. They are also very fortunate to have the academic guidance, curricular structures, physical space and international connections of the Art Academy. I am very optimistic that in fifteen or twenty years, the art students from the Academy, will be at the lead of Palestinian visual culture and will chart the way for the next generation of visual artists from all parts of Palestine."
John Halaka's visit to the Academy was supported by the US Consulate General's grant in Jerusalem :"Empowerment of Youth through Contemporary Art and Research."