YMCA Of Greater Houston Hosts 5th Annual Triumph Of The Human Spirit Virtual Art Show And Auction

Published On: November 30, 2020Categories: Press Release

Art showcase that celebrates the work of refugee and immigrant artists from around the globe who now call Houston home

HOUSTON (November X, 2020) – The YMCA of Greater Houston will host its 5th annual Triumph of the Human Spirit virtual art show and auction starting Tuesday, November 17 – Thursday, December 10. Triumph of the Human Spirit is Houston’s premier refugee and immigrant art showcase celebrating the work of artists from around the globe who now call Houston home. Each of the 10 contributing artists has commissioned pieces which showcase their unique perspectives in art and their experience in coming to Houston. Proceeds from the art sales will benefit the artists and YMCA International Services where it be will used to support programming designed to help immigrants, refugees and other vulnerable individuals in Houston.

“When you participate in Triumph of the Human Spirit, you’re purchasing more than a piece of artwork; you’re investing in a future of a human being, who in many instances has come to this country under great duress, and an organization that cares deeply about supporting immigrants, refugees and other vulnerable individuals in Houston,” states Stephen Ives, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Houston. “The beauty of this art show is that you get to know where the work came from while making a tremendous impact on the artist. Your generosity and engagement also propels the YMCA International Services to continue providing individuals and families the integration support they need to better transition into their new communities.”

The virtual art show can be accessed via an auction platform. Virtual eventgoers can view the 45 pieces of art available and will be able to bid November 17 – December 10. Through the virtual experience, Houstonians will be able to view video bios of each artist as they share their story and experiences that influence their art. Final bids must be in by Thursday, December 10, and winners will be notified on Friday, December 11. Additionally, donations of any denomination will be accepted to aid YMCA International Services to continue their work with vulnerable populations, helping them on their path to self-sufficiency.


  • Alejandro Gutierrez – Mexico – Alejandro’s work is inspired by his life experiences growing up in Oaxaca, Mexico where he began drawing at a young age.
  • Ammar Al Obaidi – Iraq – Ammar is an engineer who draws inspiration from artists such as Pablo Picasso and enjoys working with dynamic colors in his abstract art.
  • Fatema Josh – Malaysia – Fatema’s work is inspired by impressionism and spontaneity. She infuses her culture and experiences into her work.
  • Mic McAllister – Spain – Mic gains inspiration from everything in life including emotions, images, nature, various cultures, energy and especially from things which evoke feeling.
  • Sanya Wafeq – Afghanistan – Sanya has participated in Triumph of the Human Spirit for the last four years and her work reflects her years of growing up during the Afghanistan war.
  • Sawleha Khanzada – India – Sawleha began drawing when she came to the U.S. and believes everyone has art within and only needs to tap into it.
  • Shaheen Rahman – Pakistan – Shaheen’s art journey started as a hobby with watercolors and eventually lead her to the ancient Islamic art form called Ebru. She enjoys promoting the beauty of this Islamic art form with her fellow Houston community.
  • Taiba Janabi – Iraq – Taiba is a self-taught artist who continues to work diligently to learn and reach her goals through her artistry.
  • Tekie Russom – Eritrea – Tekie has participated in Triumph of the Human Spirit since its inception and draws inspiration from his Eritrean and East African culture.
  • Tina Aldebashi – Yemen – Tina enjoys working with the medium resin for its water and glass-like qualities. She finds her work to be a therapeutic outlet.

The YMCA International Services is a unique center of the YMCA of Greater Houston that delivers client-centered programs to refugees, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations to advance their economic independence, social integration and civic participation. The Y helps newcomers restore hope, build stability, create opportunity and change futures. YMCA International Services is continuously recognized as a leader in the Houston immigrant community.

The virtual art show is sponsored by Sugar Creek Baptist Church (Presenting Sponsor), Kennon Evett Photography (in-kind donations), Brennan and Helena Reilly and Joel and Lisa Guitguit (Nurture Sponsors) and Mickey and Rhonda Ary (Inspire Sponsors).

For the most up-to-date information regarding the Y’s 5th annual Triumph of the Human Spirit virtual art show and auction, please visit www.ymcahouston.org/art-show or follow the organization on Facebook @YMCAHouston and Instagram @YMCAHouston.

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About YMCA of Greater Houston
Founded in 1886, today the Y remains committed to the health of more than half a million people in Greater Houston who learn, grow and thrive through programs and services at our 25 centers. Strengthening community is our cause. Together, we connect active, engaged Greater Houston Area residents to build a better us.