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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery presents Portraits of the Portuguese in New England

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- April 7, 2004 -- The University of Rhode Island Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery features an exhibition to celebrate the richness of the Portuguese heritage and Portuguese American communities in southern New England.

"Portraits of the Portuguese" is a photographic exhibition and installation documenting the Portuguese communities in New Bedford and Fall River, Mass., and at Fox Point in Providence, R.I. The work of anthropologist Stephen L. Cabral and Aurora Nunes reflects their family histories as well as the community life in Portuguese areas of New England.

Free and open to the public, the exhibit runs through April 30 at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery (1st and 2nd floor lobbies), 80 Washington St. in Providence. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A gallery night reception will be held on April 15 from 5 to 9 p.m. For information call 277-5206.

Cabral has spent his career teaching cultural anthropology at a number of universities and documenting the religious festivals and customs of Portuguese American immigrants and their descendants. Cabral's grandparents emigrated from the Portuguese Atlantic islands of St. Michael, Azores, and Madeira, Portugal, and settled in New Bedford. He began studying the traditions of his heritage to capture and maintain the legacy of these customs.

Cabral traveled to these islands to document the original versions of the feasts and celebrations he grew up with in New England.

Cabral's photo-documentary exhibit is accompanied by musical instruments, textiles and a family shrine to reflect the character of celebrations among Portuguese natives on both sides of the Atlantic. Cabral received a Ph.D. from Brown University.

Aurora Bemvinda Nunes, who has worked as Cabral's student intern, has studied photography, anthropology and sociology. Her parents and siblings were born in Madeira. Her work includes family albums and photographs installed in an interactive living room setting. Her photo essay documents the family's biculturalism and the social tension of living in two separate cultures simultaneously. The exhibit documents the historical family expression of Madeiran culture on both sides of the Atlantic.

For More Information: Steven Pennell, 277-5206