In February of 2007, the Iraqi painter Amal Alwan Maseer was near her house in Baghdad with her children when a car bomb exploded and glass rained down on her. As she recounted to an American social worker, “I was completely crazy when I saw the dead bodies and the wounded, searching if my children were among them . . . If I lose them in those minutes, I felt I’d lost everything in my life. Is this the democracy of Bush and Blair?” Hear more about her story—and how she managed to bring her children safely to the U.S.— tonight at the opening reception for Freedom and Beauty: The Art of Iraqi Refugees, featuring five artists whose works are a somber reminder of the war and violence they have escaped. All proceeds from the art sales go directly to the artists.

April 30-May 28, 2009