URI Providence brims with the arts and stories of Yabo

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 874-4500

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — November 4, 2003 — The University of Rhode Island brings the extensive life works of artist and storyteller, the late Yabo, to life at the Feinstein Providence Campus.

The collection of narrative paintings, sculptures, photography, plays, and poetry of Yabo are now on display in the Providence Campus first- and second-floor galleries located at 80 Washington St. Presented in support of the National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference being held in Providence this month, the exhibit runs through Dec. 31.

A Gallery Night reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20 will feature a talk by Yabos widow, Jean Stewart-Aguirre at 7 p.m. Stewart-Aguirre will speak again on Friday, Nov. 21 at noon. The galleries and lectures are free and open to the public.

Yabos work is filled with mythic imagery and storytelling rooted in Africa through the struggle for freedom and civil rights in America. The exhibit presents the entire collection of the artists life work, with varied topics and media, including mystical mask paintings and sculpture, raw-edged realities of slavery and emancipation and the dazzling fantasy of a mind brimming with creativity and cultural pride.

Born as Albert John Stewart in Hope, Ark., Yabo lived much of his life in Santa Monica, Calif. He retired in Rhode Island, where he died in 1992. Of his work, Yabo said: “These are things you dont read about.” These things are drawn out of the rich legacy of family stories and tales that reinforced pride in being black, pride in the African heritage and the many family heroes who fought the yoke of slavery and forged paths for others to follow to freedom and self actualization.

For more information call Artist-in-Residence Steven Pennell, URI Feinstein Providence Campus, 277-5206. (spennell@etal.uri.edu).