PAINTER, ILLUSTRATOR AND ARABIC TRANSLATOR
By: R. Jean Vallieres M.O.P
Since youth, May Alsouz has been attracted to color, paper, and the works of famous artists. From early childhood she found herself painting and passionately studying art books. After having taken her Bachelor's degree from the Academy of Fine Arts, Bagdad University, she soon discovered that knowledge of the English language was an indispensable tool needed to advance her understanding the art of multiple cultures and civilizations. This led her to return to Baghdad University where she earns her second bachelor’s degree, this time in the English Language.
Her forty year journey as an artist has enabled May to develop a fully unique painting technique that reflects her Iraqi cultural heritage. Each of her paintings summarizes the many art styles she has practiced over the years, all leading to her singular, exotic modern style.
Her singular technique and choice of bold, bright primary colors reflects a scholarly comprehension of Iraqi rural culture, popular superstitious symbols, and folkloric objects. Each of her works incorporates local legend projected in bright colors over a dark background.
In addition to her painting career, May Al Souz has had a long, distinguished career as a published translator and Arabic art critic. She has also produced over 750 illustrations, six children’s books and several Iraqi children’s publications. In her early career she worked as an artist, illustrator and translator for the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, national publications, newspapers in Iraq as well in some middle-eastern countries.
In 1977, May was awarded a solo exhibition in the prestigious Always Club in Baghdad. She has also participated in several prestigious Iraqi and middle-eastern and European group art exhibitions to include: Almustansiriya Exhibition in Almustansiriya University in Baghdad; The Orfali Gallery Exhibitions in Iraq; the Magic Pen Exhibition in Belgrade Czechoslovakia to highlight a few. Several of her works of art can be found in private collections, within the Iraq Ministry of Culture and Jordanian Ministry of Information.
HONORS AND AWARDS /GRANTS
2015- May Alsouz has been selected as Virginia artist of the year in Exploring Tosca Magazine- pages 57 &63 Spring 2015 issue- Minnesota- USA.. Copy and pastethe link below in the web ;
2002- May Al-Souz was Awarded by the Ministry of Culture –Iraq for translating the most press articles in 3 year period (1999-2001)
MAY ALSOUZ SERVED AS :
Free Lance Translator in Liberty Language Services 2012-present Virginia -USA
Freelance Translator in Iraq published more than 150 articles in public and governmental sectors 1984-2006
Art critic translator, Arabic proof reader and editorial member of Al-Mamoun magazine, Ministry of Culture -1998-2006-Iraq
Art critic translator In the English magazine "GILGAMESH",Ministry of Culture & Information from 1998 to 2004- Iraq
Translatior /English Department /Ministry of Culture & Information -Iraq 1998-2000
Translator in Children's Culture House magazines / Ministry of Culture / Iraq -Baghdad1984-1998.
Coordinated three British art exhibitions for the British Council in Iraq 1982-1983
Served as professional illustrator in the Ministry of Culture & Information, Children’s Culture House 1984-2003
Illustrator in Children's Culture House magazines 'MAJALLETI'" and "ALMIZMAR"/ Ministry of Culture & Information/ Iraq -Baghdad1984-1998
Ilustrated six children's books five of which published by The Ministry of Culture -Iraq and One in Kuwait
Arranged several children’s painting exhibitions, festivals and children’s Book's Illustrations /Children Culture house ,Ministry of Culture & Information 1986-1990
Director of the International Relations in the Children's Culture House/ Ministry of Culture & Information, Iraq 1986-1990
Worked as a fashion designer and & painter on fabrics in the Iraqi Fashion House / Ministry of Culture & Information/Iraq 1982-1983.
Worked as an illustrator and translator in “Wissam” children’s Jordanian Magazine -1993-1994, Ministry of Information-Jordan
Illustrator in “Alsinbad” Magazine, for the UNICEF & Children's Culture House Cooperation 2002-03/Iraq
Designed a series of greeting cards for mass production (50,000 cards) in Iraq, 1983.
Exploring Tosca" magazine -spring 2015 issue Virginia -USA Pages 57& 63
"Al- Ra’ie’” news paper Issue No.129-Oct./14/2001- Review-
"Al- Qabas” news paper – January 1978-Kuwait-Interview
Al-Jamhuriya” news paper – May-15- 1978 Iraq -Interview
“Transport & Development” Magazine page 67-Feb.-1978-Iraq- Review
"Al- Jamhuriya” newspaper June 2000 -Iraq- Review
"Alif Ba” magazine June -15-1994 issue no. 1342-Iraq Review
“Al-Thowra “ news paper – June-28-1984 Iraq- Review
“Arab Today”newspaper June -1984- Review
“Alif Ba” June -01-1984 Iraq- Review
“Majallti” magazine Dec. 24.1990-Iraq- Review
“Directory of children books’ illustrators and writers in Iraq
Certificate -Professional Medical Interpreter - Liberty Language Center 2012 -USA
College course work " Introduction to Medical Language - NOVA Community College - USA 2011
Bachelor's degree in English language - Bagdad University 1998
Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts - Academy of Fine Arts - Painting - Baghdad University 1974
Member of Empowered Women International Organization (EWI)-USA
Member of Iraqi Fine Art Union
Member of Iraqi Journalists Union
Member of the Arab Jurnalists confideration