Reem Arnouk is #MadeForKnoxville.

After fleeing from her home at the start of the Syrian Civil War, Reem relocated to Knoxville. Here, she uses the language of art to connect with people across all cultures. 

For Reem, painting is a tool to connect with others. She uses art to communicate her own inner thoughts and visions and to inspire others to see the world differently. She believes that people of all backgrounds can find common ground as they connect over art, and she finds joy in teaching and sharing art with others.

“Many of us don’t share the same language, but I believe God gave us music and art to communicate across language and cultural barriers.”

Painting by Reem Arnouk

In Their Own Words..

I am a painter and live event artist. I’ve been teaching art part-time for four years now. I enjoy doing art commissions as a part in connecting with people’s stories and memories. I have participated in multiple art shows in the past and am looking to expand to more events in the future.

I grew up over the seas in a little town in Syria. I left my country to run from the war and to finish my college degree in English Literature. Little did I know, I ended up in Knoxville studying small business management and taking courses in art that was the start of my art journey. I did a few art shows in college and sold most of my paintings, and I assisted my art professor in tutoring for kids. Now, I work as an art instructor and sell my art on my social media and website. 

What led to entrepreneurship:

Routine jobs were not fulfilling and I knew I wanted to do more. I have always felt less of myself when I neglect art. I love putting my visions into canvas and I love connecting with people and inspiring them and I felt the most capable in doing so is through being creative. I have prayed one summer that if God wanted me to do art he would open a door for me to learn. Doors have been opening since then, and if a door opens, I will take it.

Lessons learned: 

Focus on the purpose of what you are doing. As an entrepreneur, it is easy to switch to hustling and being in the zone. It makes a HUGE difference to stop and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing and look for the reason I started it.


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