African textiles, portraits featured in WSCC exhibit.

January 22, 2018

African textiles, portraits featured in WSCC exhibit.

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — Two new exhibits begin the 2018 exhibition schedule at the Manierre Dawson Gallery on the campus of West Shore Community College.

Continuing the exploration of sub-Saharan Africa as part of WSCC’s Humankind Project, a collection of African textiles hangs in the gallery while six Rwandan portraits, created by Ludington artist, Ellen Niemann, are located in the adjacent hallway.

The mostly woven textiles represent cultures and countries across Africa using a variety of techniques and distinctive designs that highlight the continent’s artistic achievement and stylistic diversity. Objects also range widely in function from the “Grand Boubou,” a prestigious costume worn by Hausa men on special occasions, to the numerous large cloths worn by women; all exhibit strong color and pattern.

Ellen Niemann

Other items of interest include a decorated Tuareg camel bag and a beautiful, heavily-beaded lizard made to be worn by a Yoruba diviner.

Ellen Niemann is a largely self-taught artist whose mixed media portraits are created using liquid acrylics, pastels, and gold leaf. She has made several trips with her husband Noel to Rwanda, where she was able to photograph survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and their children.

According to Niemann, she intends that “these paintings will express the truth, beauty and hope of the people of Rwanda.”

The two exhibits will be on display until February 23 in the Arts & Science Center. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Monday through Thursday9 a.m. to 1 on Fridays. The gallery will also be open on evenings and weekends during events and performances in the Center Stage Theater.

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