The art exhibition presenting contemporary artist and academician Gizem Saka’s works, “Turquoise Dream: A Journey to the Aegean”, is opened at the Howard Thurman Center at Boston University, organized by the 18th Boston Turkish Arts and Culture Festival. The exhibition will remain open until December 15, 2013.

Gizem Saka’s inspiration for her works in this latest exhibition is the Ottoman ceramics and tiles. She emphasizes that in the Ottoman art, there was no “fine art” mentality whereas decorative arts were important, as well as calligraphy, miniature painting, or pottery. The artist says, for this exhibit, she relied on the color scheme of original ceramic painting as well. The Iznik palette started with cobalt blue and then grew to incorporate first a turquoise, then red, and in the second half of the 16th century, a wonderful mixture of emerald green, which improved the turquoise. Gizem Saka says she strived to match that color in her palette, although it’s been difficult. She used about ten different turquoises and tried to mix them in different combinations.

Gizem Saka enjoys using vibrant colors in her paintings and says that she feels free when she paints. From Western painters, she likes Cezanne and Matisse - especially Matisse’s decorative elements feel very close to her. In this exhibit Saka used a thin coat of varnish, which she never did before in painting. The original tiles were glazed before they were kilned, so that in the bowls and plates there is this glossy and transparent coating. Saka wanted to reflect that in her canvasses.

At the opening of the exhibition a reception also was organized at Boston University to talk with Gizem Saka about her paintings, attended by academicians, diplomats, representatives of community organizations, artists and students. Katherine Kennedy, Director of the Howard Thurman Center at Boston University, in her speech at the reception said they were delighted to be hosting art works of an important artist from Turkey every year at the Center, as a result of the continuing cooperation with the Boston Turkish Festival for the last eight years. Burak Karartı, Consul General of Turkey in Boston, emphasized the importance of promoting Turkish arts and culture in Boston and commended Gizem Saka for her beautiful art work in the exhibition.

Erkut Gömülü, Director of the Festival, said they were happy to include the art exhibition of young and talented artist Gizem Saka in this year’s festival program. He thanked Howard Thurman Center and Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF) for their support in organizing this event.

Boston Turkish Arts and Culture Festival is organized annually since 1996, presenting a vast array of events ranging from exhibitions, presentations, workshops, concerts, film competition, to Turkish culinary arts, under the theme “Colors of Anatolia”. Main sponsors of the festival are Turkish Cultural Foundation (TCF), Ministry of Culture, Tourism, Turkish Promotion Fund, and Turkish Airlines.

More information about the Boston Turkish Festival can be found at the festival web site: