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  • Writer's pictureCARAVAN Arts

To Lift Our Spirits: Contemplative Art

CARAVAN Board Member Bassem Bejjani shares his top pick.

Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937, Oil on canvas, 349.3 x 776.6 cm

I still remember the first time I saw this painting. Having grown up in Beirut during the civil war, seeing this painting made my war experience feel universal. I was not alone anymore. Picasso spoke to me directly and told me "I know exactly what you are going through". I still gaze at this painting every now and then and notice a new detail that I missed, and experience a feeling again for the first time.

The painting is exhibited in the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid.


Bassem A. Bejjani, MD is Vice President of CARAVAN and Chief Medical Officer of Metis Genetics, a telegenetics counseling service company. He is on the Board of Trustees of The Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle.  He is also trustee of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and immediate past Chair of the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA).  Dr. Bejjani has served on the Board of the Spokane Symphony where he was Executive Vice-President. A graduate of the American University of Beirut, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, he is a pediatrician and a medical geneticist. As Clinical Professor at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medical Sciences at Washington State University, he helped establish the genetics curriculum for the first class of medical students. He is co-founder of Signature Genomics, a genomics laboratory that was acquired by PerkinElmer, Inc. in 2010.  He is interested in arts and science education and the role of art in enhancing creativity, scientific learning and critical thinking.  


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