Refugee Eye Gallery

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Rihla رحلة

A New Exhibit at Refugee Eye Gallery

July 1 – September 2 

Opening Night Reception: Saturday, July 9

Contact: Raj Tawney, Publicist

Rihla رحلة refers to a journey or a trip in Arabic. In Rihla, artist Lara Aburamadan invites viewers into her subconscious mind, on a journey of introspection and self-discovery, exploring questions of gender, dreams, and imagination. Through self-portraiture, Lara creates a world of her own, far away from the social, religious, and political restrictions she regularly experiences as a woman and an artist. Each artwork is an experiment with color and embodies the feeling of being free in her body.  

Rihla رحلة opens July 1 and runs through September 2. The opening night reception –– Saturday, July 9, 7–9 PM –– will feature live music performances by the artist’s musical friends from South West Asia and North Africa. This free public music event will support the artist and Refugee Eye Gallery and their efforts to showcase art by refugee and immigrant artists. 

Plus, don’t miss Refugee Eye Gallery’s Paint and Sip Party on August 6, 4-6 PM. There’s an 80s and 90s “cool kid” theme, so bring your playful selves and dress in your totally radical outfits to sip wine and paint at the gallery during this fun event. We’ll provide art supplies. Be sure to RSVP here.

Refugee Eye Gallery

Location: 849 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA. 

Gallery hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday—11 AM–6 PM. 

Phone: (646) 468-0450

About the Artist:

Lara Aburamadan is a Palestinian multidisciplinary artist, journalist, and Co-founder of Refugee Eye from Gaza City. Lara’s style of painting seeks to express emotional experience rather than impressions of the external world.

Her photojournalism work has been featured in New York Times, The Atlantic, San Francisco Chronicle, VICE, and elsewhere. She also has been chosen by Time Magazine among 34 women photojournalists around the world that you should follow their work.  

About Refugee Eye:

Refugee Eye is both an online platform and a physical gallery whose mission is to serve as a visual-storytelling hub devoted to exhibiting art by refugees from all over the world, spotlighting their stories of exile, and adding their perspectives to the public discourse, in an attempt to build bridges between worlds in a time of building walls. Refugee Eye is the brainchild of Jehad al-Saftawi and his partner, Lara Aburamadan, asylum seekers who arrived in the Bay Area from Gaza City in 2016. 




Refugee Eye Gallery





San Francisco, CA –– Beginning May 10, Refugee Eye, a gallery founded by and dedicated to art by refugees, will present its second show, featuring twelve visual artists from Ukraine. Located at the McSweeney’s Building at 849 Valencia Street in San Francisco, the show will reflect the radical change in these artists’ lives since Russia invaded their sovereign nation.

According to the UNHCR, over 4 million Ukrainians have fled their country, 6.5 million are displaced within its borders, and an estimated 13 million are stranded in affected areas or unable to leave. We are confronted with the realities of a massive humanitarian crisis that is growing by the second. Refugee Eye feels a responsibility to present resilience in art by sharing the perspectives of new Ukrainian refugees. 

More Powerful Than Bullets opens May 10 and runs through June 25. On May 28, 7:30–9 PM, there will be a public fundraising event to support artists and their families and neighbors in Ukraine. The event will also feature exclusive video content and a talk with the show’s organizers. Location: 849 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA. Gallery hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday—11 AM–6 PM. Phone: (646) 468-0450.

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Anton Skyba

A photojournalist and media producer based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He gave up his corporate photography career in Donetsk to start covering the conflict in Ukraine, first as a fixer and later as a photojournalist and media producer. He has worked with BBC, CBC, PBS, CNN, Vice, the Globe and Mail, La Croix, Huffington Post, RFE/RL, Knack, Fuji TV, CCTV, TBS, Slate, Zaborona, PAX, and Amnesty International.

Sergiy Yeremenko 

A journalist from Kryvyi Rih, he works for local Ukrainian news agencies, such as Vikna-Novyny and STB.

Konstantin Sova

He was a director of the Kyiv School of Photography. Now he takes pictures of what war did to Kyiv. 

Oleskii Kyrychenko

He graduated from photography art classes and worked as an engineer before the war. He lived in a small town near Kyiv; a few days after the war, his hometown was under a threat of capture by the Russian troops, so he left with his wife and children to Western Ukraine to their friends' house. He registered at military accounting but has not yet been mobilized due to the long queues.

Andre Magpie

From Kyiv, he studied architecture, but after finishing school, he decided to focus on art. When the war started, he chose to stay in Ukraine and continue to create art as his way to resist aggression and document history.  

Danylo Hovorov 

He was born in Donetsk, a part of Ukraine that was under Russian attack for eight years after Crimea was annexed. He has felt what war is like since 2014. In his own words: “Speak up however you can. Through art, music, literature, and social media. Speak to the world, to other countries, so that people can hear, unite, and live free.”

Stanislav Lunin

Stanislav is a conceptual artist. He was born in Lugansk and moved to Lviv, the heart of the art world in Ukraine. 

Volodymyr Prokhorenko

A conceptual artist who was born in the city of Lviv. Volodymyr’s focus now is on creating artwork that shows what is happening in this war.

Vitaliy Vorobyov 

A photographer from Lviv, Ukraine. Teacher and founder of his school of photography, he's also a traveler. He works in advertising, creates covers for books and magazines, photographs for charity projects, collaborates with show business stars, and participates in many thematic festivals and sporting events as an official photographer.

Tania Yakunova

Tania Yakunova (full name Tetiana Yakunova) is an award-winning illustrator and artist from Kyiv, Ukraine. She started her artistic journey in 2014 and has worked on projects from around the world. Her work consists of commercial, book, and editorial illustrations, as well as internationally exhibited personal artwork. Her art practice is a mix of illustration, fine art, and craft. Recently, she has started working with ceramic sculpture. She has made art for Apple, Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, the Washington Post, and others.

Sergey Grechanyuk

An art director and illustrator working in the film and game industries. 

Vlada Hladkova 

Experienced in game design, ZBrush, Unity3D, conceptual art, and user interface design, she has a bachelor’s degree in fashion and apparel design from the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts.

About Refugee Eye 

Refugee Eye is both an online platform and a physical gallery whose mission is to serve as a visual-storytelling hub for refugees from all over the world. We spotlight their stories of exile, and adding their perspectives to the public discourse, in an attempt to build bridges between worlds in a time of building walls. Refugee Eye is the brainchild of Jehad al-Saftawi and his partner, Lara Aburamadan, asylum seekers who arrived in the Bay Area from Gaza City in 2016. 











SAN FRANCISCO – Refugee Eye, a gallery devoted to art by refugees, opens March 11 at 849 Valencia Street. The gallery is located in the McSweeney’s building. The first show will feature photography by Jehad al-Saftawi, an asylum-seeker from Gaza.

The gallery is the brainchild of al-Saftawi and his partner, Lara Aburamadan, asylum seekers who arrived in the Bay Area from Gaza City in 2016. Al-Saftawi’s book of photographs, My Gaza: A City in Photographs, was published by McSweeney’s in 2020. In a starred review Kirkus described the book as, “Blistering portraits of a territory plagued by violence... atmospheric, visually moving.” Award-winning novelist Rabih Alameddine said, “This is an outstanding book. These gorgeous photos force us to look, to direct our unflinching gaze at a subject most of us usually ignore. They are both microscopic and universal in scope, beautifully poignant. Gaza is the land of two million prisoners. Jehad al-Saftawi is a wonderful guide into its heart.”

Refugee Eye will feature new shows every six weeks, always focusing on the refugee perspective.

“We believe Refugee Eye's gallery is a crucial forum to better the world's understanding of the modern refugee experience through this San Francisco window,” says Aburamadan.

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​​Refugee Eye, online and in the physical gallery, will feature refugee stories from all over the world, serving as a visual storytelling hub that offers refugees’ content to the public, attempting to create a bridge between worlds in a time of building walls—adding refugee perspectives to the public discourse by offering vivid stories from their exile environments.

“Our hope is to integrate more refugees' perspectives and bring truth to the policy debate,” says al-Saftawi. “Our programs help amplify the voices of individuals suppressed by authoritarian environments. By shedding light on inspiring young artists and the way they are challenging the status quo, we set the stage for the next courageous generation.”

“MY GAZA: A City In Photographs” opens March 11 and runs through May 8. There will be a public artist talk event with al-Saftawi on March 23 from 6 PM - 8 PM. Location: 849 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA. Gallery Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – 11 AM - 6 PM. Phone: (646) 468-0450.


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