In 1997 Al-Mansour seized an opportunity to move to the United States. Once she arrived, she automatically gained the freedom being a female physician had formerly provided her. This newfound independence enabled her to relinquish a career in medicine and return to art, the one thing that was always deeply fulfilling for her. In 1997 Al-Mansour seized an opportunity
to move to the United States. Once she arrived, she automatically gained the freedom being a female physician had formerly provided her. This newfound independence enabled her to relinquish a career in medicine and return to art, the one thing that was always deeply fulfilling for her In 2002 Al-Mansour both got married and obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of
St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota where her husband, David Penchansky, teaches. The master’s program also allowed her to examine art from a different perspective and trace the invisible path of Arab artistic production in the pre-Islamic era. Her master’s thesis was a field research project focused on the mid-twentieth century shift in henna art in her hometown of Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia. She made a series of prints based on those historical designs she documented.
Al-Mansour’s art reflects the female culture of her hometown of Al-Hasa. Arabic and Islamic aesthetics influence her work which references gender politics in the Arab world. In vibrant colors, her screen-prints integrate stylized figures, Arabic calligraphy, and designs of Sadou (Bedouin design) and henna. In addition to printing she makes shrine-like spaces out of printed fabric. Secluded by ceilings, rugs, columns and domes and nuanced by sound and light, such installations recall both Bedouin tents, and Islamic architecture. An object such as fabricated tea set, or a papier-mâché tree provides an unexpected narrative. Al-Mansour was a recipient of Jerome fellowship of printmaking in 2013/14 and the juror’s award of the Contemporary Islamic Art exhibition in Riyadh Saudi Arabia in 2012. She was listed among the 100 most powerful Arab women in 2009, 2011 and 2012 in the online magazine: Arabian Business.She has participated in regional, national and international art shows, given speeches about Arab art and her personal journey, and curated exhibitions featuring Middle Eastern artists. Hend is a co-founder of the group Arab Artists in the Twin Cities and was a member of the Arab American Cultural Institute in Minnesota where she worked to promote the understanding and expression of Arab culture in the West.