Meet Hussein Ghareeb

Hussein Ghareeb, Our Artist Extraordinaire!

The Amazing Hussein is from Iraq from which he and his family had to flee. Hussein was the preeminent set designer in Iraq & the  Middle East. He designed sets for theatre, film, television studios and much more. Included at end of photos of work, please see his magnificent contemporary designs.

From childhood on Husein was attracted to art. His parents were very supportive because of his innate ability combined with his strong work ethic. He graduated from Bagdad University with the highest honor in painting and design. After University Hussein enlisted (as is necessary for all males) in the military.

Hussein Ghareeb

With his military duty behind him, Hussein began designing sets for theatre. As his reputation grew, Hussein designed theater sets all over Bagdad and set production in the Cinema Industry. Hussein’s skill and attention for detail earned him a place designing sets for National Television. Hussein was hands-on and supervised all aspects of construction and design and the most sought-after set designer in all of Iraq. Even today, 2018 after fleeing Iraq, Hussein still receives offers for prestigious work in Iraq.

Hussein’s son, Akram, told me that Hussein loves the United States and the freedom our Constitution assures. His two sons, Akram and Abdul attend Cleveland State while working full time. Hussein and his wife have another son who lives in Slovakia where he is a computer engineer. Hussein’s beautiful wife Needa, is also an artist of distinction whom we will feature soon. Needa he won the 2002 International Sculpture award. Hussein’s first love is set design. Of his painting, we have only the highest praise as you will see.

I discovered Hussein and his beautiful wife Needa through City of Hope refugee and immigrant center. This organization works with immigrants and refugees to transform from them from stranger to neighbor.

Hussein’s work is magnificent. Although he didn’t pick up a paintbrush for 25 years, his quality of work hasn’t declined. Look at the quality of work he has created from 2017 – 2018. His brush strokes and the simplicity of form, his sense of atmosphere and emotion are beyond description.

Hussein painted these in less than a year, working one day a week when he was able to join our community. He is indeed AMAZING!!!

Hussein Ghareeb’s Paintings

Hussein Ghareeb’s Set Design

Meet Joe McCrystal: Artist Extraordinaire

“This class (Artist in Bloom Ministry) has been a journey to artistic discovery and is why I named a painting THE AWAKENING. I had a skill that was dormant until the energy of this class and Ginny’s instruction brought it artist needs a point of view that could be called a visual philosophy. This has evolved over the last few years bringing confidence in creating a final product.” Joe McCrystal

Joe has grown as an artist. he simplifies his form. Yet it is multi layered and a road map of his experiences. Clarifying one’s image and moving the viewer’s eye witnesses Joe’s observation of life and relationships. … Virginia Cascarilla

What His Fellow Artists Have to Say:

“Joe has a gift. He is able to create a story in each of his paintings. The shapes, the lines starts a process that eventually turns into a wonderful, colorful narrative. His colors create different  moods. I’ve never appreciated abstract art until watching Joe paint. This talented man pores his heart and soul into a painting and I have observed shapes and lines becoming structures and stories. You have a God-given gift and you share your gift with each of us.  Thank you” – Karen Kirk

“Joe’s paintings are both lively and stimulating.  He has mastered the art of creating shapes with rhythm and harmony.  Joe creates some of the most stunning representational art I have seen.  I am always interested in seeing his next creation! -Theresa Weedon

“As a fellow student, I’ve seen an exceptional artist. I learned from his work and I credit Joe with being an artist that loves color; and, seeks out a diverse choice of subject matter. Joe is an excellent artist that could go it alone, but he is prepared for some of the “challenges” that Artist Virginia Cascarilla presents to him as he evolves into an exceptional artist.”  -Eileen Vernon

“It’s a privilege and an inspiration to my own artistic challenges, to observe the wonderful maturation and refinement in your painting. Your pieces truly reflect not only your talent, but your  deep appreciation for this opportunity for self growth. I look forward to many more beautiful pieces with your signature!”  -Jane

“Joe has never failed to amaze me. His ability to combine color and texture with movement, inviting the viewer to thoroughly enjoy each piece. His work is unique which is Virginia’s goal for us, to find our style and excel.”  Debbie O’Leary

Comments about Joe’s work are welcome. If you have any questions about the Artists in Bloom Ministry or would like to join, feel free to contact founder Virginia Cascarilla with any inquiries.

Artists in Bloom Community’s Mission

Artists in Bloom Community works toward embracing art and community as Sacrament. Each painting becomes evidence of redemption and transformation.

Life is a series of moments, good, bad and in-between, all strung together and constantly redefining who we are.  We help those who are in search of meaning. I am looking and believe we are all looking for meaning and purpose. Victor E Frankl, the renowned psychiatrist and Holocaust Survivor wrote ‘MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING.’ Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.

I propose that making art can be antidote to despair, and the process of making it is transforming.  Whenever one creates a painting, writes a poem, makes music, one participates in a ‘resurrection moment’ that is both redeeming and transforming. My objective is to fill a void that our secular world has created by giving people a new language, a new means of expression that is purposeful and autobiographical.  Making art is deeply spiritual.

When given the tools of expression,  we become engaged and connected.  A sense of belonging and trust ensues. We all want a voice. I have created a 16 week plan to give people the tools for a visual grammar to create a life time of visual statements.

The idea is to give people the tools to engage, become connected with others in a supported community and create art.  Those without a voice become discontented, angry and disconnected.  Art is the antidote.  Art transforms and redeems life.

If you’re interested in learning more about Artists in Bloom Community or would like to get involved or donate, please contact founder Virginia Cascarilla with any inquiry.  216 272 1602

You can see more of Virginia Cascarilla’s work on