Windows to West Africa- Closing Reception

in News from WARA
March 20th, 2013

Black History Month Art Exhibit

Prof. Bolaji Campbell, Rhode Island School of Design

Prof. Bolaji Campbell, Rhode Island School of Design

On Friday, March 1, 2013 the closing reception of the art exhibit entitled Windows to West Africa took place at the Brookline Senior Center in Brookline. For this exhibit celebrating Black History Month, WARA collaborated with the Daughters of Yemaya Collective and the City of Brookline. The exhibit featured ceremonial and everyday objects from West Africa and was curated by Boston University alumna Helen Banach. It featured works by former WARA resident scholar Yelimane Fall, and a piece by former WARC Director, Wendy Wilson Fall. The exhibit was featured prominently on the front page of the Brookline Tab Newspaper.

Photo 2The event featured a lecture by renowned art historian Professor Bolaji Campbell of the Rhode Island School of Design. In his talk, Professor Campbell discussed some of the objects in the exhibit and their origins and meanings, and of course the links between West African and African American artistic production. Of particular interest was an image he projected of a quilt made by Harriet Powers, a 19th century African American quilter, which bears incorporates many techniques and motifs seen in the famous Dahomey tapestries of West Africa.  He even noted how American quilting traditions retain this heritage and pointed to the quilt work of the seniors on display at the Brookline Senior Center. Professor Campbell presented the history of the relationship between African American slave artwork and their West African origins.

Photo 4The event was well-attended and the lecture was the perfect ending to thePhoto 3 beautiful exhibit. WARA board member and Chair of the Programs Committee, Professor Louise Badiane, will be bringing exhibit to Bridgewater State University as part of their Africa Week programs.  The event was catered by the small West African restaurant in Cambridge, Bytes @ University Park.