A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
Colgate university boosts local arts scene with exhibitions, forum
Friday, September 01, 2006
The visual arts are alive and well in central New York, and Colgate University is contributing much to several events and exhibitions — including three concurrent exhibitions showing African art from the Longyear Museum of Anthropology —all taking place in the coming week.
On Monday, Sept. 4, 2006 two on-campus exhibitions will open for public viewing: African Shapes of the Sacred: Yorůbá Religious Art at the Longyear Museum in Alumni Hall; and Transition, an exhibition of work by artist Arturo Lindsay, in the Clifford Art Gallery in Little Hall.
On Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8 and 9, 2006 Colgate joins with Hamilton College to convene artists, art professionals, and educators for Public Art on Campus, a two-day exploration of the role and responsibilities of public art in the physical, social, and teaching space of the college campus.
The African Shapes of the Sacred exhibition, on view through Oct. 29, includes traditional Yoruba shrine furniture and vessels, divination objects, memorial twin figures, masks, and other sculptures that figure in the practice of the Yorůbá religion.
Much art of the Yorůbá people of west Africa figures in the veneration of divinities and ancestors, as well as the control of supernatural powers associated with nature, medicine, and witchcraft.
Curated by Carol Ann Lorenz, senior curator of the Longyear Museum, the exhibition becomes the third of a trio of shows running in central New York that feature pieces from the Longyear’s collection of African art.
At the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, the exhibition Reveal Conceal: The Transforming Power of Masks includes 13 examples from the Longyear collection.
African Personal Art and Adornment, also curated by Lorenz, is on view at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica. That exhibition, on view until Dec. 31, focuses on treasured items that are meant to be handled and used.
They serve their owners as tools, furniture, housewares, playthings, and objects of personal adornment. They were made for people in all walks of life — from farmers or weavers to chiefs and kings although those belonging to elite members of society are likely to be highly elaborated or made from precious materials such as ivory or brass.
Transition, which also was curated by Lorenz, will be on view at the Clifford Gallery through Oct. 22. The collection of spiritually and emotionally charged paintings, collages, drawings, and installations highlights the evolution of Arturo Lindsay’s work over the last two decades — and reveals his appreciation of his own African ancestry.
Internationally known as both an artist and a scholar, Lindsay explores African cultural expressions in the Americas through his work. An art professor at Spelman College in Atlanta who also maintains a studio in Portobelo in his native Panamá, Lindsay is the 2006 Batza Family Professor of art and art history at Colgate.
Lindsay will give a lecture about the exhibition at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6 in Golden Auditorium, Little Hall.
Public Art on Campus on Sept. 8 and 9 is part of a series of exhibitions and presentations that celebrate the 30th anniversary of Sculpture Space, an international artists’ residency program in Utica.
The presentation of public art, where artistic expression intersects with public audiences, often raises challenges, and sometimes controversy, over issues of siting, funding, community involvement, and maintenance, along with issues of aesthetics and content.
The symposium events (see sidebar), which take place at Hamilton College on Friday and at Colgate on Saturday, include a keynote address by sculptor, filmmaker, and environmental artist Mary Miss, as well as a variety of performances, public sculpture viewing, and panel discussions. All are free and open to the public.
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