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Indepth Arts News:

"Images of Africa: Community and Responsibility"
2000-01-29 until 2000-03-19
KEENE, NH, USA United States of America

Images of Africa: Community and Responsibility is a collection of African wood carving, metal sculpture, jewelry, and textiles from the Thorne's permanent collection and private lenders. The exhibition details strategies for living according to African values that stress the importance of community and responsibility.

The Friends of the Thorne will use the Images of Africa exhibit as the centerpiece of their annual educational program for area school children. During Feb. 1-18, school groups will be invited to participate in docent-guided tours of the exhibit.

Images of Africa offers the public an opportunity to learn about Africa through its traditional art, explains the Thorne's director Maureen Ahern, who organized the exhibition to support the KSC Campus Commission on the Status of Diversity and Multiculturalism. The group's theme this year is community and responsibility.

The majority of artwork on display is from the collection of James and Polly Curran from Hancock, N.H., gathered during their years of living and working in South Africa, Togo, and West Africa from 1960 to 1975. These works of sub-Saharan black artists express important aspects of living according to African values of respect, hard work, generosity, community participation, and striving for balance with natural and unseen forces of the world, according to Dr. Priscilla Hinckley of the African Studies Center at Boston University.

Hinckley wrote the informational panels that complement the exhibit. These panels explain how the artwork is intertwined with the religious and secular aspects of African daily life.

This exhibition presents a rare educational opportunity to more fully comprehend the social, religious, and economic intricacies of a foreign culture through an examination of the culture's works, wrote Vicki Wright in Art New England in April 1988, when the Currans first exhibited their collection at Keene State and the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

Twelve years later the Thorne's exhibit has been expanded with works from the gallery's permanent collection and pieces borrowed from the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N. H. and other private lenders.

The Thorne gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The Images of Africa exhibition will be open only by appointment during the Keene State College Spring Break, March 13-17. Located on Wyman Way, the gallery is accessible to people with disabilities. For information, call 603-358-2720. -30-

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