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
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
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.