By Ryan Kneller
For decades, Phillipsburg artist Mohamed Bayoumi Mansour followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Ali Bayoumi. Bayoumi, a professor of architecture and prominent Egyptian artist, inspired Mansour to nurture his creativity and pursue his own career in the arts.
“Due in large part to his support, I earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine art and graphic design,” Mansour said of Bayoumi, who died May 24. “Over the last three decades, I’ve also created and shown my paintings and sculptures in several countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United States.”
Now, with his friend and fellow artist, Sheila Kuhns, Mansour has fulfilled a longtime dream of his and his brother: opening an art gallery in America.
Art BaYouMi Gallery, showcasing local and international works, held a grand opening May 30 at 12 S. Fourth St. in Emmaus.
Customers can shop oil and watercolor paintings — mostly landscape and abstract — by Bayoumi and Mansour; stained glass table lamps, flower pots and more by Kuhns; and creations by about a half-dozen other local artists, including oil paintings by Emmaus’ Diane Hutchinson and jewelry and glass bottle serving trays by Easton’s Barbara Brock.
There are also handmade imported pieces, including wooden figurines from Germany and furniture, throw pillows and copper lanterns from Egypt, said Mansour, who was born in Egypt and immigrated to the United States in 1984.
“Our opening was very bittersweet, but we dedicated the gallery in Ali’s memory and will always have some of his paintings here,” Kuhns said.
Kuhns, of Upper Macungie Township, previously worked as a manager at Mansour’s other business, Venny’s Pizza & Restaurant, in downtown Allentown.
“When we found out that we were both interested in art, that’s when we started talking about opening a gallery,” Kuhns said. “We want to showcase not only our work but also art of all kinds from the community.”
Art BaYouMi Gallery, which also carries vintage art and furniture, is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Info: 484-908-0628.