Shahzia Sikander, "Portrait of the Artist" (2016), Mixed Media, Unique, 11 x 18 inches. Image © Shahzia Sikander
Shahzia Sikander for the L.A. Times

Pace Prints collaborator Shahzia Sikander wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times titled We need diverse influences: Artist Shahzia Sikander on her multicultural past and our future. Published on March 24, 2016, the article chronicles Sikander's childhood in Lahore, Pakistan and the conflicting experience of being a creative individual living under a military regime. She also discusses the openness of the United States in the early 1990s, which allowed her to travel the country on a standby ticket and apply to art schools, eventually enrolling in the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Sikander cites the change in the American psyche since saying, "Now, the incendiary anti-Muslim rhetoric spreading in certain parts of the U.S. is dangerous and suffocating. It robs all of us of our innate human empathy." She calls for an increase in Muslim American cultural institutions, more diversity in the selection of children's books available in the States and the cultivation of imagination and empathy in early childhood in order to combat ignorance and fear.

A version of the article will appear in the print edition of the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, March 27, 2016.

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