Not long ago, we attended an opening at the relatively new Sanavandi Gallery, located at 66 Spring St., in Charleston. It was a special event, titled Sowing Word, at which artist and gallery owner Sussan Sanavandi exhibited her paintings and hosted readings of Persian poetry. Sanavandi’s art explores and incorporates the complex world of language—and the aesthetic shapes of calligraphy. As she explains, “My native Persian language is my means of communicating and preserving my cultural identity … and I use language in symbolic and verbal forms to represent my search for an artistic worldview.”

The gallery, which exhibits the work of other contemporary artists who “represent an international and multicultural worldview,” participates in a variety of community cultural events: poetry readings, an exhibition of fashion week pop art and Argentinian tango evenings.

Sanavandi was born on the Caspian Sea coastline of Iran. She grew up in Tehran and studied traditional Persian miniature painting. Prior to immigrating to the United States, she studied art in Rome. Today, she enjoys living in Charleston as a wife, mother, visual artist and gallery owner.

In late October, a new exhibit of Sanavandi’s work opens with paintings that explore and compare the language in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to the Persian love story of Leili and Majnoon by Persian poet Nezami Ganjavi.

Visit or call 843-937-0107.

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