sealPurdue News

January 2, 2003

Purdue Galleries offers visions of African culture

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Galleries will offer a pair of exhibits Jan. 13 through Feb. 23 representing the traditional and the contemporary in African culture.

In the Robert L. Ringel Gallery, "Ritual and Rebirth: African Masks from the West Guinea Coast" will showcase association masks from the Poro and Soweii societies. These masks were integral to ceremonial rites of passage, in which young men and women were indoctrinated into the social responsibilities of adulthood. The exhibit comprises selections from the Thomas D. Slater collection and was developed by art history students in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, under the supervision of David Parrish, associate professor of art and design. It is being co-sponsored by the Purdue Black Cultural Center.

On Thursday, Jan. 16, a reception will take place in the Ringel Gallery and the Purdue Memorial Union West Faculty Lounge from 4:30-7 p.m. The reception will feature a performance by Drums of West Africa, led by Prince Julius Adeniyi, and a lecture by William Siegmann, curator of the Arts of Africa and the Pacific Islands at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Showing concurrently in the Stewart Center Gallery, "Images of Human Rights" will document the promise of the burgeoning South African democracy in a portfolio of black-and-white woodcuts recently acquired for the Purdue Galleries permanent collection. In the aftermath of apartheid, the portfolio was assembled to celebrate the creation of the South African Bill of Rights. Each of the 27 clauses of the Bill of Rights is represented by an image from an individual South African artist. The Haraka Writers, a performing ensemble at the Black Cultural Center, are composing writings that reflect upon the exhibit images and the individual clauses of the South African Bill of Rights.

Purdue Galleries will sponsor a reception from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, featuring a reading of works by members of the Haraka Writers.

The "Images of Human Rights" exhibit is included in a series of events called Project Respect: Expressions of Human Rights, sponsored by the Project Respect Committee. Project Respect events will take place Feb. 3-8. For more information, contact the Purdue Student Union Board at (765) 494-8976.

The Robert L. Ringel Gallery in the Purdue Memorial Union and the Stewart Center Gallery in Stewart Center are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; until 8 p.m. on Thursday; and from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.

CONTACT: Craig Martin, director of Purdue Galleries, (765) 494-3061,;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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