Featured Artist: Ghada Jundi Hashem
By Kelley Dawson
Ghada Jundi Hashem not only brightens a room with her colorful paintings; she illuminates it with her ever-present positive energy. Her constant smile seems to broadcast through her works making each piece an absolute pleasure to gaze upon.
Hashem has been drawing since she was very young. She told that her father was an artist and encouraged her creativity. Hashem said, “He even allowed me to paint and draw on the walls of our home to keep me drawing.”
According to Hashem, she was very good at math and many in her family expected her to go into a math field. But she said her father’s words prevailed. “Go where you find yourself,” he told her. Hashem actually received an art scholarship in Egypt where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Helwan University in Cairo. She also received a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Amman Arab University in Jordan.
Hashem then married and moved to Chicago. She said she enjoyed “a new world of art” and took art classes there. Hashem later returned to the Middle East. She taught art in Kuwait and Jordan. Hashem shared while in Jordan she became the art department supervisor for 12 years. “I missed teaching,” expressed Hashem. She journeyed to the Houston area in the early 2000s. Hashem became certified to teach Art and Special Education. She began teaching again in the Pasadena Independent School District. She also set up a home studio to continue her own projects. Hashem revealed with all her worldly travels how much she adores the Houston area. She said, “I am very happy where I am.” Hashem admitted, “I even love the weather here.”
Hashem believes art is very important for her students emotionally, physically, and psychologically. “Kids love to do art. It’s a kind of therapy that lets those express thoughts through art and builds self-esteem,” she explained. Hashem disclosed that she always discovers a lot of things from students including problems from home that they can work through with art. Hashem shares her enthusiasm for art and life with her students by focusing on creativity. She stated, “Everyone can do art. Look at figures, lines, shapes then connect it all together with shading and color to add new things from their own minds.”
As for Hashem’s art, many of her pieces are inspired by her travels. She informed, “My art is very different because of all my travels.” Hashem said she visits the “hearts or older areas of towns to capture the true culture by spending hours and hours collecting ideas.” Plus, Hashem doesn’t use just one art style. “That will affect your creativity,” she declared. Hashem paints with watercolor, acrylic, oils and constructs with clay and other jewelry-making materials. She proclaimed, “I like to do everything. Whatever you think about I do.” Hashem’s favorite medium is watercolor. “There is much challenge in watercolor. You can’t make a mistake and cover it up like other mediums,” she said.
Hashem told that she loves contrast with color. She often uses a small, rectangular red plexi-type glass to view her paintings prior to completion. Viewing through the red glass removes color from the paintings and only dark and light contrast is visible. Hashem divulged it’s her own method to create the right balance of light and shadow in her paintings.
Hashem continues to grow in her creativity and remains steadfast in working with natural elements. “I love the earth and working with natural found objects like twigs or stones,” she said. Currently, Hashem has been adding wire and beads atop large pond stones to create stunning three-dimensional trees.
Ghada Jundi Hashem lives in League City. For more artist information or to view additional works, email her at email@example.com.