The 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica is presenting exhibitions from Iran, Tibet, Korea and South Africa as part of the center’s award-winning International Visiting Artist Program.

A public reception for the exhibitions will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 at the center, 1639 18th St., Santa Monica.

The exhibit, Postscards from Tehran, a collaboration with the Aaran Gallery of Tehran, Iran, curated by Nazilla Noebashari, will be presented in the 18th Street Gallery. Aiming to break down the barriers of political prejudice, the show will be the first Los Angeles exhibition of works by five Iranian artists in conjunction with works by two artists from California who migrated from Iran, an 18th Street spokesperson said.

The exhibit looks to present a unique view of contemporary Iranian artists whose dissenting viewpoints may prove to be eye-openers to many Americans whose main knowledge about Iran is typically derived from corporate cable news channels, the gallery spokesperson notes.

The artists include Arash Fayez, Siamak Filizadeh, Hadi Nasiri, Behrang Samadzadeghan, Behnam Kamrani, Barbad Golshiri and Jinoos Taghizadeh. They are joined in this collaboration by Iranian-American artists, Ala Ebtekar and Amitis Motevalli.

In the Pasillos Gallery, 18th Street will feature the Los Angeles debut of Tibetan artists Tsering Nyandak and Norbu Tsering. The public will have the opportunity to experience the new representational narrative painting and mixed media installations coming out of Tibet’s contemporary art community.

18th Street is additionally presenting videos of South African performance artist MLu Zondi, whose provocative performance videos will be on display in the Project Room. A live performance of his work will take place at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Highways Performance Space at 18th Street Arts Center.

In addition, Korean artist Han Sungpil has collaborated with Los Angeles painter Yvette Gellis to create a dynamic mural, Open Water, which will cover the facade of 18th Street Arts Center.

During the opening reception Thursday, Jan. 20, 18th Street Arts Center will also present a special preview of videographer Ben Caldwell’s interactive video installation which was commissioned as a public art piece at the new Santa Monica Place shopping center. The installation “Untitled” invites interactivity as it projects the work of several artists onto the floor of the Colorado Avenue entrance.