Mansoureh Nia

category: Folk/Traditional, Visual,

Contact & Info


Artist Statement

Manoureh Nia,  a native of Iran, has devoted her career to the art of her ancestors. She studied the art of Persian rugs at Tehran Institute Of Creative Arts, founded to preserve the integrity of Persian rug designs, under the highly skilled master ( Morteza  Ahmadi). She follows the ancient techniques of intricate designs, but she brings it to a whole new artistic level. Unlike the usual Persian expressions of art, her designs are not made into rugs. She follows the same patters as her ancestors, but uses them to make designs on glass, rather than the traditional silk or wool weaving.
The process begins by adhering veins made of textured grout to glass. These provide the outline for the designs.Transparent layers of paint are then applied within the outlines. Nia uses vibrant shades of yellow,red,turquoise,and purple which are the predominant colors in actual Persian rugs. Her designs are often described as lyrical. They follow flowing symmetrical designs of floral arrays and animals. The grouting gives her works dimension and shadow which can not be achieved in the design of a normal rug. The glass gives the translucent colors a shimmering effect.. Overall, her works have beautiful symmetrical patterns, enhanced by bright vibrant colors and attention to intricate details.

Born in Persia to a family of carpet designers, Nia began to study art at Tehran Institute of Creative Arts (HonarhayeZiba) at age 19. During her early training she attracted the attention two prominent teachers: OstadTarighat, a legend in carpet design, and Faramarz Peel-Aram, a master of glass painting. The artist's reputation was established almost immediately, and at age 26 she had a very successful exhibition in Tehran. Critics referred to her work as " A Magic Carpet of Glass".

In 1978, she came to USA to study at Mercer University in Atlanta .She continued her studies in New York, and in 1985  she received her MA degree at Hunter College in studio art and education.
In 1992, she returned to Persia for a six months visit. While there, she studied color scheme in glass painting with a famous master. She has taught painting and lectured extensively on distinctive technique of three dimensional drawing on glass as a permanent media.
Nia adopts 16th century Persian designs and motifs in her work. With large sheets of glass as her canvas , she sculptures symmetrical, often floral, designs, using raised grouting that creates shimmering elevated textured. She then fills in the grouted outlines with transparent glass paint in brilliant colors to create uniquely mystical works of art. Each piece takes several months painstaking work to complete.
Mansoureh Nia  also works on hand painted glassware using Persian and Byzantine motifs. Her work is delicately  designed with two original colors: gold and white. This color combination gives unique features to the glassware.
The artist also creates art works using the ancient reverse painting techniques on glass using acrylic paint. All designs are created from details to whole. In this technique. all the paintings are on the back of the glass to be protected from temperature changers.

Educational Background

Master of Education - Hunter College, New York, 1985
Bachelor Degree- Studio Arts- Hunter College, New York 1983
Persian Designs and Motifs, Tehran Institute of Creative Arts , Iran, 1974-78