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Letters 11-17-2014

by Dr. Buono in the November 10 Northern Express. While I applaud your enthusiasm embracing a market solution for global climate change and believe that this is a vital piece of the overall approach, it is almost laughable and at least naive to believe that your Representative Mr.

Home · Articles · News · Art · The Art of Africa comes to Dennos
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The Art of Africa comes to Dennos

- March 22nd, 2007
The classic African masks, sculpture and jewelry at a new exhibit at the Dennos Museum Center may have the look of artifacts that could be hundreds or even thousands of years old, but their timeless quality continues to influence the creation of art in our own time and culture.
European encounters with the arts of the African peoples south of the Sahara desert profoundly influenced 20th century Western art, contributing to the styles of many noted artists, such as Picasso, who was known for using African mask forms in his paintings.
The Dennos at Northwestern Michigan College presents the exhibition, “Spirits, Relics and Rituals: The John F. Korachis Collection of African Art,” from March 25 to September 2. The collection was assembled by John Korachis who had a lifelong passion for collecting iconographic objects of Africa.
Throughout the 20th century, a growing interest in African art in the Western world spurred collecting by museums and private individuals. It also encouraged research, throwing light on the history, meaning and significance of African art. Indigenous African arts generally tended to be functional and often had some social relevance within the cultures that produced them. Masks and carved figures were part of daily life of peoples and communities and might have been featured in periodic religious activities.
As collecting of African artworks expanded in the last century, African artists sought to meet the rising demand by producing versions of original cultural objects. These works were not always used in a functional way by the various African societies; still they reflected the forms, styles and subject matter of known original pieces that inspired them.
The John F. Korachis Collection of African Art is composed primarily of objects created in the 20th century. These works often reflect the interpretations of individual artists who have drawn upon the artistry of their predecessors while adding their own details to the works. In some cases, such recent works stand alone as art objects, blending influences from multiple African cultural groups. As such they offer insights into the dynamism of African cultures and the extraordinary craftsmanship and inventiveness of contemporary African artists working in the traditional style. Hence we can use this imagery to understand the lifestyles and beliefs of Africa’s diverse cultures.
The exhibition’s geographic focus is the two broad regions of Western and Central Africa and encompasses cultures located in the modern nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire), Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held Saturday, March 24 beginning at 6:30 pm with a concert featuring the African Guitar Summit from Toronto, Canada at 8:00 pm. The Juno Award winning group features Canada’s top African born guitarists who are making their first tour of the United States with this appearance. Tickets for the reception and concert are $25 ($20 for Museum members) and can be purchased through the Museum Box Office at 231-995-1553. Attendees are invited to dress in African costume.




African Jewelry Sale
An African trunk sale featuring West African mud cloth, batik, kente cloth, clothing and textiles, along with handcrafted sterling silver jewelry, semi-precious stone jewelry, ancient beads and much more is presented in anticipation of the opening reception for the exhibition “Spirits, Relics and Rituals.”
Attendees are invited to dress in African costume and the trunk sale will provide the opportunity to find a special article of clothing or jewelry to wear to the event. The sale will feature the collection of Ann Murice, a designer and manufacturer from California who spent many years living and traveling throughout Africa in the1960s. Her textile collection focuses on the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Togo. Today she continues to buy and sell fabrics and jewelry and creates her own original clothing and jewelry designs. She is most inspired by “mud cloth” or bokolanfini (pictured) and has amassed quite a collection of traditional African fabrics and old beads. The clothing in the sale is made from the fabrics she collects on her African travels.
The sale will feature Fulani earrings worn by the Fulani women of Mali. These earrings are either passed down through generations or given as a gift from husband to wife.  The metal is repeatedly heated and hammered into thin blades and then twisted into shape. Also shown will be Tuareg jewelry of sterling silver that has been handcrafted by the Tuareg people of Niger {West Africa}. The Tuareg are nomads of the Sahara and have worked silver for centuries. The jewelry has beautiful geometric patterns incised in the silver and many pieces are inlaid with semi-precious stones and wood.

For more information on the sale contact Terry Tarnow, Museum store manager, at 231-995-1587 or ttarnow@nmc.edu.

 
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