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> Mervat Essa, artist
> Makbula Nassar, photographer
> Palestinian artist Emily Jacir awarded top prize
> Dahoud Tawfiq Nasser, tile designer
> Fawzy Jiries Nastas, sculpturer
> Nadia Abu-Ghattas, silver designer
> Ibrahim Haddad, industrialist
> Rania Elias-Khoury, cultural entrepreneur
> Mohammed Omer, journalist
> Jowan Qupty: a Palestinian Swimming Champion
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> Rimon Najib Salim Zabaneh, sports leader
> Rafat Al Aydeh, actor and drama teacher
> Abou Radwan family of Jaffa city
> Notable Palestinians in the Recent History of Lebanon
> Yousef Katalo, painter
After more than forty years of working and sculpturing, Fawzy Jiries Nastas is an experienced artist whose works can be found throughout the world.
Nastas was born in Bethlehem on 1 July 1948, and inherited his artistic talent from his father and grandfathers who were also famous sculptors and stone carvers. The grandfather of his father, Mr. Ibrahim Nastas, is the artist who designed and created the decoration at Jacir Palace (today the Intercontinental Hotel). His many other projects include the columns and capitals of the Carmelite convent’s church and the entrance to the Milk Grotto in Bethlehem.
His father, Mr. Jiries Nastas, also worked on various projects in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. However, his greatest project was the renovation and re-production of the capitals of the columns at the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem. The young Fawzy used to help his father during school holidays. After finishing high school, Nastas travelled to Milan and spent eight years studying art history, sculpture, and anatomy at Brera Art Academy. He excelled in his studies and creations and received several honour certificates from the academy as well as appreciation certificates from the Milan Municipality for his works and monuments, which had been installed in public squares, churches, and museums in Milan and other Italian cities.
In 1972, after receiving his PhD, Nastas returned home to Palestine. First, he established his own studio next to his parent’s house near the Monastery of St. Elias on the main road between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Later, at the beginning of the eighties, he moved his studio to Beit Jala, where he developed and enlarged it.
Fawzy Nastas is well known for his realistic and classical style. He has mastered all the techniques of sculpting and carving in stone, marble, granite, and other types of hard and soft stone. He enjoys making classical monuments, life-size figures, and Greek-style decorations; he loves to accept challenging projects and pays special attention to anatomy and small details. His high-end artwork has made him famous in Palestine as well as abroad.
In addition to his studio work, Fawzy Nastas joined the Palestinian Artists League during its first year of establishment in 1975. He joined Sliman Mansour, Nabil Anani, Vera Tamari, and several others who worked hard to strengthen the Palestinian identity and to spread art education throughout the Palestinian community. He taught art at the teachers’ college in Ramallah between 1975 and 1979.
In 1975, he established a fine arts academy in cooperation with the Arab Women’s Union in Bethlehem. He was the main teacher until the end of 1987, when it was forced to close its doors by the Israeli Military forces at the beginning of the first Intifada.
Between 1984 and 1998, Nastas was a member of the faculty of Bethlehem University and taught courses in fine arts and art appreciation. Since 1998, however, he has spent most of his time in his studio, focusing primarily on producing his own creations.
During August of both 2007 and 2008, Nastas participated in a sculpture symposium called “Arte In Strada” organised by and hosted at the Municipality of Temù, Italy. The symposium is held for 7 days and hosts 22 sculptors from 22 different countries. Each artist is given a piece of wood to create his/her own sculpture. Mr. Nastas won second prize for the year 2007, and first prize for his contribution for the year 2008, a piece which represents his hope for peace in his homeland.
Sculpturing since childhood, Fawzy Nastas has produced numerous works of art that are exhibited and installed in Palestine and throughout the world. Although it would be difficult to give a comprehensive account of his achievements and works, here are some highlights:
• Peace statue: six meters high, sculpted in 1973, the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem
• Palestinian Woman: 1.6 meters high, sculpted in 1974, installed in front of al-Bireh Municipality but confiscated by the Israeli Military forces and never found again
• Our Lady of Lourdes statue: life size, sculpted in 1977 upon commission from the European Artistic Committee and sent to the Louvre Museum in Paris
• Statue of Jesus Christ: larger than life, sculpted and shipped to the Philippines in 1985
• Martyrs’ monument at Kfar Kassem: five meters high, installed in 1986, and includes the names of 49 martyrs
• A copy of the Venus statue of Canova: life size, sculpted and shipped to London, England, in 1999
• Virgin Mary statue: three meters high, installed on the rooftop of Mary’s House Convent and Hostel in the Old City of Bethlehem in 2000
• Abed al-Qader al-Husseini statue: life size, sculpted in 2002, and installed at Birzeit University
To see some of the works of Fawzy Nastas,
This Week in Palestine