Archived Gallery Exhibit
AFRICA: Myth, Magic and Reality
by Betty LaDuke
Celebrating Black History, with the spiritual history of Africa and also Rhode Island’s dark history of the slave trade
January12 - February 22
Gallery Reception, dedication of paintings and the film Traces of the Trade
January 31 beginning at 6:00 pm
URI Providence Campus is featuring a traveling exhibit of mixed media painting, etchings, and drawings by Oregon artist Betty LaDuke. The collection of work comes from LaDuke’s annual visits to Africa from 1986 – 2004. Professor LaDuke sees these visits more as a pilgrimage, a personal spiritual journey, where she “like a serpent shedding skin” leaves the western world and all of her other responsibilities to experience the African culture, traditions and the spirit of its people. Transformed by these journeys, LaDuke transforms the experiences, which she captures in her sketch book, into brilliantly vivid, vibrantly colorful paintings and etchings reflecting archetypal images. In these works, African women frequently appear as mothers bringing forth, sustaining, and nurturing all life forms. The women are cultural guardians, healers and mythical goddesses which are a praise song to Africa. Professor. LaDuke has been referred, by Frank Cebulski of Artweek, as “an artist who has succeeded in assimilating the myths, idioms iconography and metaphors of other cultures holistically in her work.” We have presented LaDuke’s Creative Hands and Spirits Exhibit of portraits of and works by women artists from around the world in 2005 and her works Dreaming Cows exhibit created for Heifer International in 2006. The Africa Myth, Magic and Reality collection is presented by URI Feinstein Providence Campus in celebration of Black History Month.
There will be a reception for the exhibit on January 31 at 6:00 pm. In addition to the stunning work of Betty LaDuke, URI Feinstein Providence Campus will dedicate two inspiring paintings acquired from local professional artists for its permanent collection of public art. Priscilla the African created by URI Professor Robert Dilworth to commemorate the recovery and reunion of the family of a 14 year old Slave Girl stolen from Sierra Leon through Rhode Island to a plantation in South Carolina. As a celebratory counterpoint, sitting opposite Priscilla is Abdoul Doumbia, the Master Drummer by Munir Mohammed a gifted painter and muralist who has captured the dynamic shaman spirit of the drummer calling his people so clearly that one can hear the drum beating from the canvas.
Following the reception and the dedication of the paintings will be the presentation at 7:00 pm of TRACES OF THE TRADE, the film by Katrina Browne, member of the DeWolfe Family of Bristol Rhode Island. Browne traced and documented the history of her family as one of the largest transporters of slaves from Africa. The film will be followed by a discussion with a panel of local leaders.
URI Feintstein Providence Campus Gallery is
located in the 1st and 2nd floor lobby
For information call Steven Pennell at 401-277-5206