African masks and figurative sculptures featured in art exhibit

September 11, 2017

African masks and figurative sculptures featured in art exhibit.

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — As part of West Shore Community College’s year-long exploration of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Manierre Dawson Gallery is hosting an extensive exhibit of African masks, figurative sculpture, weavings, and artifacts.

The show, entitled “Traditional African Art: Dialogue of Context,” was created from the collection of Dr. John Poindexter who has been collecting art and artifacts from non-Western and indigenous cultures for 40 years. The exhibit will conclude on Oct. 13.

Many African groups are represented with works from the Baule and Attye of Ivory Coast; the Namji of Cameroon; the Yoruba of Nigeria; the Luba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the Akan and Asante of Ghana; and the Marka of Mali.  These are just a few examples of the range of Poindexter’s collection. Labels explaining the purpose and meaning, as well as probable origins, accompany each piece.

In addition to the work in the gallery, textiles and maps are on display in the adjacent hallway.  An informative presentation of the influence of African art on modernist Western artists such as Picasso and Matisse is also on view.

On Sept. 26, at 12:30 p.m., a presentation about the works in the exhibit, the influence of African art on Western artists, and the controversies surrounding these influences will be given by Dr. Poindexter, professor of sociology, and Rebecca Mott, curator of the Manierre Dawson Gallery and professor of art.

This joins a series of presentations and events on Africa scheduled this year as part of the college’s “Human Kind” three-year project.

The Manierre Dawson Gallery is in the Arts and Sciences Center on the WSCC campus. Gallery hours are Mondaythrough Thursday9 a.m. – 4 p.m.Friday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and open evenings and weekends during events at the Center Stage Theater.

The exhibit and presentations are free and open to the public.

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