My name is Meryem Nurhilal Harsa. I am a painter and artist organizer from Izmir Turkey. Turkey is a proud democratic nation, rich in history and culture, that is just beginning to come into it's own as an independent and unique voice in the visual arts. I consider myself both a Turkish patriot and a world citizen. A strong, secular, humanist art is critical for Turkey and art can help everybody challenge limitations of understanding and consciousness. Izmir is a magical city on the shores of the Aegean Sea. I throw open my windows every morning and both the sea and sky open their arms to me, welcoming the day. Every day the sea and the sky are different and also the same. They can be serene or tempestuous. They are moody, like me. My paintings are emotional and vibrant, colorful and expressive. Please look at them with an open mind and open heart. I will share my thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions, and of course art with you. In Turkey we have a tradition of warmly welcoming guests. To all of you who come here I say "Merhaba".