SoArt Club, in addition to supporting artists and introducing them in international exhibitions, tries to help the growth and strengthening of civil society in Iran by designing and implementing numerous and diverse training courses.

The jury of the SoArt Festival 2019

William Oberst

William Oberst holds an MFA in painting from Stony Brook University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Claremont Graduate University. He taught painting and drawing in the Stony Brook Art Department for more than a decade, as well as courses in the history of ideas for the university's Honors College.

In addition, he directed its Living Learning Centers organization and was the founding director of its University Scholars program for high-achieving students, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Service Award in 2002. Selected one of Today's Masters by Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, his paintings are in collections in Italy, Canada, and the United States. He maintains a studio-residence in downtown North Adams, Massachusetts, where he continues his art practice and research in the foundations of representational art.

For more information on William Obrest's background and works, you can visit his personal website at

Mahmood Karimi-Hakak

Mahmood Karimi-Hakak is a former professor at Town Sun University in Maryland, SMU in Texas, Sony in New York and Antwerp University in Belgium, and Tarbiat Modares and Soura Universities in Iran. He currently serves as Professor and Director of the Theater and Cinema Department at Cena University in New York State. Karimi-Hakak is also the founder and director of the Hidden Cinema Festival, which has been operating for seven years.

Mahmood Karimi-Hakak's artistic work includes more than 70 theatrical works, 6 documentaries and feature films, 3 poetry books, 6 plays and dozens of articles, interviews, translations and reviews. Karimi-Hakak has won five international awards and accolades, including the Fulbright Award and the Raymand C Kennedy Award.

Iris Anne Grant

Iris Anne Grant is an American artist and painter based in Boston, Massachusetts. He received a master's degree in fine arts painting from Prado University in Indiana, and in addition to his artwork, he taught at Leslie University in Cambridge. He has also received numerous valuable awards during his years of artistic activity. His artwork is on display at a number of American museums and galleries, including the Rolls-Royce Museum in New York and the Prado University Museum, Leslie University Gallery.

More than 50 American and European collectors hold works by Iris Ann Grant. Touch Art Gallery exhibited a collection of his works in 2014.

Nader Rofougaran

Nader Rofougaran is an artist and professor at New York University (NYU). Nader Rofougaran has been living in New York with his family since 2014. He previously lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he earned a doctorate in philosophy from Harvard University. He studied in Europe before entering Harvard University. Nader Rofougaran received his master's degree from Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany and his bachelor's degree from the Sorbonne University in France.

From a young age, Nader Rofougaran, in addition to studying philosophy, has been engaged in artistic activities in the field of photography and sculpture, wall sculptures. His mother, Monira Rofougaran, is also an artist working in the field of ceramics in Paris.