Munir Sayegh is a memorable face on campus. Not only is he on billboards across the town representing St. Ambrose, but he is also involved in many activities on campus. One place where he can keep hidden, however, is inside the art studio on Gaines St. This is where he has been working on his final creative masterpiece for SAU since December.
Sayegh is one of the two senior art students who were chosen for the Senior Art Honors Show this April. Along with preparing to graduate this May, Sayegh has been putting in dozens of extra hours on his showcase. His final piece is a work of Arabic calligraphy, which he titled “Obligation.” He said his reasoning for using this topic for such a major art project is because of his heritage.
“I’m Palestinian American,” Sayegh said. “Arabic is a part of me. I’ve had to learn how to read, write and speak Arabic or else it would be considered disrespectful. It’s been built in my growth.”
Sayegh’s final project will showcase how his art skills have developed and improved since he came to SAU in 2007. He said when he started college, he knew he wanted to work with art and people. As a marketing and graphic design major, he came in the art department knowing mainly how to paint and draw.
“The art department at Ambrose has definitely expanded my horizons,” Sayegh said. “It has changed the way I look at art.”
Sayegh is leaving SAU with more knowledge of calligraphy and photography as well.
Sayegh said he grew up drawing because his father used to draw, too.
“Art is in my soul,” Sayegh said. “I have to do it.”
SAU was the right place for Sayegh to pursue his passion for art, mainly because of the faculty, he says.
“The professors are amazing,” he said. “We are all like a little family.”
He feels as though the art professors are supportive, whereas usually they can have a “you make it or you don’t” attitude.
“The faculty here is supportive and they help you get through it,” he said.
After the honors show and graduation, Sayegh hopes to win a Fulbright scholarship to research Arabic calligraphy in Egypt. He has many big goals for himself, including developing his own typeface and owning his own design firm.
Sayegh’s work has been in “Quercus,” SAU’s literary magazine, for the last three years. He is also an art editor for the magazine.
His 100-hour project of artistic creativity and talent will be displayed at the Senior Honors Show on April 29 from 5pm to 7pm in the Catich Gallery.