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Cultural Collage

Dittmar Gallery exhibit celebrates West African and Native American culture/heritage

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December 11, 2012 | by Judy Moore
The Dittmar Memorial Gallery’s Jan. 18 to Feb. 17 “Cultural Collage” group exhibition celebrates West African and Native American culture and heritage through art.

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Bead painter Lanre Buraimoh, mask maker Annette Jackson and sculptor Ning-Chiao Hsu will merge their respective talents this winter in a group exhibition celebrating West African and Native American culture and heritage.

“Cultural Collage” runs from Jan. 18 to Feb. 17, at Northwestern University’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery. The gallery is located on the first floor of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. The month-long exhibition and an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, are free and open to the public.

Information on each of the three exhibiting artists and their work follows:

• Lanre Buraimoh

Nigerian-born and Texas-based Lanre Buraimoh, an award-winning artist, received his art training from his parents, Chief Jimoh Buraimoh and Alake Buraimoh, both celebrated contemporary artists well known in Nigeria and abroad. Lanre Buraimoh’s artwork is inspired by the beadwork of the Yoruba people of West Africa, who have traditionally incorporated beads in their art forms and to decorate the crowns, shoes and walking sticks of their kings. Buraimoh’s innovative pieces adapt this tradition to the more contemporary art form of “bead painting.” His paintings are adorned with thousands of small, colorful glass beads that depict Yoruba objects and symbols, including drums and native drummers, masks, lizards, foxes and the Shankofa bird -- a mythical bird with an egg in its mouth that is shown flying forward while looking backward. The egg “represents the knowledge of the past upon which wisdom is based and also signifies the future.” Buraimoh’s pieces also reflect traditional Yoruba beliefs related to love, entertainment and unity. His “bead paintings” are exhibited internationally. To view Buraimoh’s work, visit http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/lanre-buraimoh.html.

•Annette Jackson

New York-born artist Annette Jackson’s “edgy” masks are all about color, shape and composition. Her love for fire-created elements is evident in the components that make up these “Faces.” Some pieces are symbolic and celebratory while others express attitude and character. Using re-purposed wood as the base for each mask, Jackson arranges elements she hand makes of lampwork glass (hand made beads), fused glass (glass on metal) and metals. The influence of her Native American, African-American and Eastern European roots provide the inspiration for these whimsical and dramatic masks. To view a slideshow of Jackson’s masks, visit www.annettejacksonart.com/.

Ning-Chiao Hsu

Chicago-based Ning-Chiao Hsu’s sculptures are a fusion of contemporary and Native American influences. She is particularly influenced by the work of the Mesa and Southwest tribes and her appreciation of ancient and primitive styles. Working in clay, paper and metal, her rustic looking works feature imperfections and aging textures. Hsu’s handcrafted pieces include sculpted buildings and villages, vases, teapots, tribal motif decorated plates and Southwest style jars decorated with Native American patterns. She thinks of her ancient and historical art as “a collectible treasure in our digital age.” For more on Hsu, visit www.ningchiao.com

CONSTRUCTION ALERT

A long-term construction project on Northwestern’s south campus has closed vehicle access to Norris Center and Arts Circle Drive. Free parking is available in the two-level lot directly south of Norris. For directions and parking information, visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/visit/directions-and-parking/index.html.

For more on the exhibition, call the Dittmar Gallery at (847) 491-2348 or Norris University Center at (847) 491-2300, email dittmargallery@northwestern.edu or visit www.dittmar.northwestern.edu