A little silly to point out, but Khalil Gibran is a legend worldwide when it comes to poetry. In the visual arts, his name hasn't made it as far. In comparison to how well-acquainted readers are with The Prophet, very few are familiar with a single one of his paintings.
I can only conclude from the statement that since they’ve been overlooked in the West, there is little reason to celebrate them in the Middle East. Which is clearly the case.
This is up for debate, but Khalil Gibran was a talented painter, and has painted alongside some of the most acclaimed artists of his days, most notably alongside French sculptor Auguste Rodin.
I can’t say how far he would have made it as an artist if he wasn’t a poet and writer. I’ll leave that for you to judge: