Wire and Plastic, Leather and Grass: Contemporary African Creativities, an exhibit of objects from South Africa, Somalia and West African countries, will be shown at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville March 30 through June 8. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held at the museum on Tuesday, April 1, from 4:30 – 6 p.m. It is open to the public and free of charge.
The art objects in Wire and Plastic, Leather and Grass include baskets, mats and vessels woven from leathers and grasses, blankets woven from cotton and wool, decorated cloth for personal wear, carved wooden vessels, baskets and toys woven from wire, objects made from aluminum cans and shredded plastic bags, and designer dresses from African cloth. All of the pieces are from the personal collections of Colby, Bates and Bowdoin faculty members, staff and students. Photographs showing the objects in use and some of the places where they were created will accompany the works.
The exhibit also will include recordings of contemporary African pop, jazz and hip-hop performers and a video demonstrating contemporary dance styles. Educational information about the objects, the music and the dances will be available.
Associate Professor of Anthropology Catherine Besteman, curator of the exhibit, said, “Wire and Plastic, Leather and Grass rejects the categories and dichotomies often applied to African art. Instead it invites the viewer to evaluate and enjoy the objects on display on their individual artistic merits.”
Colby museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, and the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. For information call 207-872-3228 or visit www.colby.edu/museum.