San Jose, California USA





Mehri Dadgar

Artist Statement

Embracing freedom in my art, I have explored a variety of subjects and styles: prison drawings, figurative pieces, which I have called them Ladies and works that derive from Persian miniatures in small and large sizes.  

While I have attempted to express the simplicity, the harmony, and the beauty, I include in these paintings conflicts, ironies, or concerns from my own life.  There is a conjunction between two worlds:  the stillness, balance, and detail of Eastern art with a freedom of subject matter and a sensibility characteristic of the West. 

I do build images, symbols, and even words into my paintings that have meanings, but I believe art speaks to us in universals, in emotions that go beyond borders and beyond political positions or polemics.  It transcends these things and goes to our basic humanity…our hearts, our minds, and our souls.


Students' Work


Instructed painting classes since 2003 in my studio. I also had the honor to assist Professor Marie Thibeault with the highest standards of professionalism in Advanced Painting class. Assisted to teach during the class time and evaluated students learning process and participated in grading them.



M e h r i D a d g a r joined the movement against the Shah and participated in the 1979
revolution in Iran. Two and a half years after the revolution she was arrested for distributing prodemocracy
newspapers in the streets of Tehran. After she spent five years in political prison, she
wasn’t allowed to leave the country for eight years.
Before immigrating to the United States in 1994, she studied art at the Art University in
Tehran. Since living in America, she has exhibited her paintings in Canada, Sweden, England,
and the United States and received her MFA in art with honors from the California State
University of Long Beach.
In 2006, she won Golden "Remi" award at the 40th Annual Houston International Film
Festival for her historical short film In the Grave that dealt with her political prison experience.
After her graduation from university she began lecturing at universities and libraries about her
prison experience. She has recently published her memoir of prison, A Prison Story - Iran, a
testimony of bravery and fear, honesty and betrayal and ultimately, hope and victory.
Her Art Studio is located in Sausalito, California.