If art was no longer your day job what would you be doing?

I do not know, because I have always been profoundly connected to art in some form or fashion.

What figure in history would easily represent your alter ego?

Henry Ossawa Tanner

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Negotiator, 1998 (I could relate to Samuel L. Jackson’s character)

What do you ultimately want to be remembered for?

For doing my share of goodness to self and others

Favorite childhood candy?

Hot peanuts mixed with candy corn (it remind me of my mother’s love)


Najjar Abdul-Musawwir is an internationally acknowledged artist who has exhibited in the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe. He currently works as a Professor of studio arts and art history in the School of Art and Design/University Core Curriculum/Africana Studies at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. He hosted six seasons of the now syndicated WSIU PBS TV show, Expressions. In 2008, he had an invitational lecture and exhibition at Bilkent University, Ankra, Turkey. His series, Fatiha and Door of Return, was shown as a major solo exhibition at Bilkent University Fine Art Gallery. In 2011, he participated in an international solo exhibitions and lecture during an artist-in-residency at Tuanku Fauziah Museum and Gallery University Science Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. The title of the exhibition was Muhammad Speaks: Preserving an American Voice (paintings, prints and projections). In 2013, Abdul-Musawwir exhibited a painting titled, Abstract Sankofa in the Imago Mundi at Biennale, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice, Italy. The online/hard copy exhibition catalog titled, ORGANIX: Contemporary Artists from the U.S.A. was published by FABRICA (a global communication research center, studio and school, and an integral part of the Benetton Group).
Abdul-Musawwir, Najjar. “RESISTANCE SERIES: A CHANGE IS GONNA COME.” Resistance Works by Najee Dorsey. Georgia: Black Art In America, Fall 2015 (invited by Najee Dorsey)
Abdul-Musawwir, Najjar. “Artistic Representation.” The Frederick Douglass Encyclopedia. California: Greenwood Press, Fall 2010 ( invited by Julius E. Thompson, James L. Conyers, Jr., and Nancy J. Dawson, Editors)

Abdul-Musawwir, Najjar. “Kara Walker: Celebrating 21st Century Primitivism.” Kara Walker Yes, Kara Walker No. NY: MidMarch Arts Press, Spring 2009 (Contributed ten page essay, and invited by Howardena Pindell, and Cynthia Navaretta, publisher)

Abdul-Musawwir, Najjar. “Don’t Read Between the Lines, Read it All.”
HERBERT GENTRY: The Man – The Mater – The Magic (exhibition catalogue). New York: G.R. N’Namdi INC, 2008, 15-18.


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