Ummah Exhibition: Utah Museum of Fine Arts

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) and Emerald Project present a new ACME Lab exhibition, Ummah, a collaborative and community-focused installation dedicated to celebrating Utah’s Muslim community and educating the public about the Islamic way of life. Ummah, the Arabic word for community, refers to a collective of Islamic peoples transcending the boundaries of nations and can also mean a community with any common history—a title that successfully reflects the intentions of this exhibition.

Photo courtesy of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts

The gallery is divided into five sections, arranged to deconstruct the myths around Islam, such as the role of women, address stereotypes assigned to the Muslim community—especially following the September 11 attacks—and celebrate the diversity and traditions in the various Muslim Utah communities. Through education and experience, Ummah promotes acceptance of this often-misunderstood population, both statewide and globally.

Emerald Project founding members Satin Tashnizi and Nora Abu-Dan worked closely with UMFA coordinator of campus engagement Iris Moulton, the curator of this exhibition, and Emily Izzo, ACME coordinator, to create an immersive experience that will delight, educate, and inform visitors. 

In this local edition of Art Connection, we find community — Ummah — at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. The Ummah exhibit educates and allows the public to immerse in Islamic culture. This artistic collaboration with the Emerald Project demystifies a religion, inviting the community to see how Islam transcends the boundaries of nations.
Jorge Rojas, Emily Izzo, Faeiza Javed, Iris Moulton, Nora Abu Dan, Satin Tashnizi

ACME Lab is an innovative space in the Museum’s Emma Eccles Jones Education Center dedicated to community engagement and art experimentation. This exhibition and ACME Lab is made possible, in part, by a generous gift from The JoAnne L. Shrontz Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit

Ummah Exhibition Photo Courtesy of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts
The 5 Pillars of Islam Represented Photo Courtesy of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Wall of Women Photo Courtesy of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Separation of Islam and ideology, The Islam arrow points to the 5 Pillars while the ideology arrow points to footage of 9/11 attacks reinforcing the differences between ideologies and Islam
Photo Courtesy of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Founders Nora Abu Dan and Satin Tashnizi, Photo Courtesy of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts

“Putting this exhibit together, partnering with the UMFA was such a beautiful experience. There was no museum like this for us to visit as kids where our faith and identity were accurately represented. Through this project, we were able to offer that to the next generation”

Executive Director, Satin Tashnizi