We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Izdihar Crosby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelly Izdihar, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m from New Orleans, Louisiana and the culture has a huge impact on myself and my work. It’s a festive city, with bold and beautiful colors, and that aesthetic is in my work. It was normal to be surrounded by creative people—especially musicians, singers, and artists. In New Orleans, I was nurtured by teachers, friends, and family that saw my creative potential. The culture of the city is nurtured from the ground upward. Art is not just a something for the rich and the elite, but it’s also enjoyed by everyday people of all social economic backgrounds. Plus, the multicultural influences of the city inspired my love of exploring different cultures around the world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art celebrates my love of spirituality and multiculturalism. It’s heavily influenced by my love for racial inclusivity and by global travels (which I really hope to do again once the pandemic is under control!) There a few pieces I’m particularly proud of and that includes a mural tapestry I displayed at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. It was a piece commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I’m also proud of a painting called “Henna’ed Hands” that was chosen to be the book cover for a NYU Press book entitled “Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam” by Dr. Sylvia Chan-Malik. Pursuing a career in art is always challenging and forever evolving. And I’ve definitely had my challenges, but finally learned to embrace them. I’ve always tried my best to work within those challenges limitations and find a way to get my work out there, in art shows and especially on social media.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would definitely take them to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The natural beauty is breathtaking. I would also take them to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Ponce City Market is a nice place to hang out, especially with it being on the Beltline (and they have the wonderful restaurant, Pancake Social). It’s a nice place to walk and people watch. For my art lover friends, I would take them to the High Museum of Art and the SCAD Fash Museum of Fashion and Film. And Atlantic Station is a great place to shop, grab a bite to eat, and catch a movie (post pandemic, of course). Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to give a shout-out to my mother. She has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Despite the challenges, she has always been steadfast in her support. I also have to give a shout-out to IMAN, the Inner-City Muslim Action Network. I can’t tell you how much I love working with them. They have been incredibly supportive of my work an a resident artist. They also blend community activism and artistic engagement; an very impactful way to bring about positive changes in our communities.
Photos are by Crystal Byrd of Love Byrd Photography