[bfsa] Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art Exhibition

Hasheen Wilson hawilson at ysu.edu
Thu Jun 11 16:11:53 EDT 2009

Dear Colleague,

An exciting, unique exhibit is coming to the Weller Gallery at Fellows Riverside Gardens-Mill Creek MetroParks June 23 through August 9, 2009. Please help us spread the news.

Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art is an exhibition organized by the Museum of African Art and toured by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. This exhibit tells the story of the Lowcountry coiled basket, one of the oldest African-inspired arts in America. Specifically, the exhibit awakens our interest in history and will excite Youngstown viewers to think about traditions.

This exhibition traces the parallel histories of coiled basketry in Africa and America and explores the evolution of the ancient craft in today’s global economy. Featuring baskets from the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry, as well as from various regions of Africa, this exhibit tells the story of coiled baskets from the domestication of rice in Africa two millennia ago, through the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Carolina rice plantation, to the present.

Special efforts have been made to assure this exhibit available to the community at large and the African-American & Hispanic communities in particular. A series of free programs will be offered throughout the exhibit period.

On June 23, 7:00 p.m. at Fellows Riverside Gardens, Dr. Dale Rosengarten, Co-curator of the exhibit, and fifth generation basket weaver Nakia Wigfall, both of Charleston, S outh Carolina will present the opening lecture and weaving demonstration.

On July 21, at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Peter Rutkoff, founder and chair of the American Studies Department at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio will present a lecture Gullah Culture: Baskets, Kumbaya, and Growing Houses. Refreshments will follow both presentations.

They also offer tours of the exhibit, Gardens and hands-on activities for children’s programs by appointment. To schedule for a private event, please call Lynn Zocolo at 330-740-7116 extension 211.

There is also a supply of posters and brochures available. If you have outlets for these materials or can help the park reach people or organizations that might be interested, please call Norma Roden at 330-740-7116 or email norma at millcreekmetroparks.org

I know you will be enamored when you view the talent and align it with our ever exciting history. Hope you are able to take full advantage of this experience!

Pastor Lew Macklin 


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