Born to be an artist. George Khalil Khoury, a Palestinian by birth, Damascus emigre and an American painter since l951, creates a vivid, preeminent collection of art featuring landscapes, portraits and still lifes reminiscent of the Old World Masters.
Khoury views life via a multicultural prism, with a keen eye for detail and a romantic twist. Consider his paintings of a delicate cliff landscape in Maaloula, a Biblical town in Syria viewed from a monastery, or a tantalizingly soft, hazy desert pastel, evoking the sweet memories of a serene, war-free Middle East in the l950's.
Or consider the Greek landscapes painted in 2009 on the island of Paross in the Greek Isles – a fresh, bold view of harbor and architectural scenes where you almost feel the sun and smell the scent of the wharf and Mediterranean sea.
Born in Nazareth, Palestine in 1939, George Khoury was always interested in art, carving small animals from soap as a child much to his mother's chagrin. At age 15, he studied under Syrian artist Michel Kurshee, a protégée of Matisse. During the interim, he also worked with his uncles in the jewelry business and studied under renown jeweler Jibran Khatini in Damascus, earning his designation as a master jeweler at the age of 19.
Later he apprenticed with fine arts sculptor Sadek Kassis, before studying in Europe and immigrating to New York in l962. Unable to break through the chaotic New York art scene in the l960's, George relocated to Nashville, Tennessee to be closer to his brother, mother and sister, who had also emigrated from Syria after the death of his father, a engineer who traveled throughout the Middle East.
George attended Peabody College, today a part of Vanderbilt University, worked with the Peabody Art Department; and opened a successful jewelry business in Green Hills, in Nashville; married and began a family. Art and painting always remained his passion. The lure of the easel has never wavered. Interestingly, he still carries the wooden box easel which he carted into the fields as a youth.
Throughout his life, after spending a full day at the jewelry store, he would wake early at 5 a.m. and paint in his studio before work, or paint long into the night and morning after a hectic day at the store.
In l996, Khoury received the People's Choice award from the Portrait Society of America. He has also taught painting at The Tennessee Art League and Cheekwood. A distinguished example of integrity, honesty and kindness, George always shares his talents freely with other artists.
Khoury has commissioned works in private collections throughout Japan, Greece, the Middle East and the U.S. He also enjoys an exclusive private collection in his Nashville home and other works for acquisition in his studio.
George accepts commissions throughout the year and a limited number of students. Member: · The American Portrait Society
· Tennessee Art League
· The Chestnut Group
© 2017 George K. Khoury