The work of an artist from Baghdad who now lives in Plano will be featured May 12 through June 6 at Laura Moore Fine Art Studios in McKinney.

Waleed Arshad's most recent series, titled "Of What is Past, Passing or to Come," comes from his adjustment to his relocation to Texas.

His works are dynamic and vibrant, but also incorporate strong underlying meanings and symbology, Moore says. This body of work began in 2005 when Arshad began his exiled journey from Baghdad to the United States. Each canvas depicts another chapter and revelation chronicling his new beginning in Texas.

Prior to his exile, the work of Arshad, one of Iraq's most renowned contemporary painters, was exhibited in Baghdad's Dijla Art Gallery and the Orfali Art Gallery. Aside from extensive group shows in Baghdad, Helsinki, Istanbul and Milan, Arshad has also been featured in solo exhibitions in Washington, D.C. and New York, Moore says.

According to Moore, Arshad states that while he is not a writer who uses a pencil and words, he uses color, lines and forms because like a writer he wants "to awaken the unconscious within" and seeks to answer the fundamental question of "why do we exist?"

Arshad believes that for himself he "exists to create and live for all that which his art is about," Moore says. His confident brush strokes and definitive palette knife impressions produce rich, textured surfaces that remind one of the strong emotions poured into each canvas.

The subdued gray palette gives way to sensational yellows and oranges, mimicking the transition of Arshad's existence in Texas with its reluctant start followed now by a budding embracement.

Born in Baghdad, Arshad now lives and works in Plano, Texas. He earned a BFA from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad.

Meet Arshad during opening night for the exhibition "Of What is Past, Passing or to Come" from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 12 at Laura Moore Art Studios, 107 S. Tennessee St. in McKinney.

The gallery's hours are: Thursdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; second Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., or by appointment.