Major Exhibition and Special Programs Showcase African Domestic Design, August 28-October 4, 2014
Cleveland State University announces “At Home in Africa: Design, Beauty and Pleasing Irregularity in Domestic Settings,” an exploratory art exhibition that considers Africa’s desire for domestic comfort during the past 130 years, on view from August 28 through October 4 at The Galleries at CSU, located at 1307 Euclid Ave.
Featuring the inspirational and creative designs, patterns and forms found in objects in the African home, the exhibit, along with associated special programming, is free and open to the public.
The CSU-owned Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center collection forms the core of the exhibition. More than 300 objects created by 75 ethnic groups from 26 countries are displayed. Supplementary loans are courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Detroit Institute of Arts, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Kent State University School of Art Galleries, Kent State University Museum, Denison University and many generous private collectors.
“The goal of this exhibition is for our visitors to see Africa less as some exotic, remote, unfamiliar place, and more as a wonderful setting for people who do daily things just like the rest of us,” explained curator Dr. Kathy Curnow, a CSU African art history professor and Fulbright Scholar who has conducted research in Nigeria since 1983. “The 300-plus objects offer a glimpse into the daily rhythms of African life and are examples of the reasons that African works have become such a key aspect of global design influence. As visitors learn more about African domestic life and these objects, we hope they’ll gain a deeper appreciation of African life and creativity, and they’ll feel more ‘At Home in Africa.’”
A variety of programming will complement the show throughout its run, including these special dates:
September 13 – Teachers’ Day: Open to teachers of all disciplines, this event features lectures, lesson plans and ideas for incorporating African history into curriculum.
September 20 – Sparx Gallery Hop: Guests can sample African snacks and take pictures in authentic wraps and hats.
September 27 – Community Day: A fun day (noon to 3 p.m.) for the whole family to visit The Galleries at CSU. Plans include craft demonstrations, performances and a fashion show.
Other events, including programming through community partnerships with The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, Facing History, Global Cleveland and the Cleveland chapter of the AIGA (professional design organization), are also planned. Additionally, Eric Siler of ideastream, a CSU adjunct professor, will highlight African residents of Cleveland speaking about their memories of home, domestic spaces and objects through a video documentary that will run in the gallery viewing room throughout the exhibition.
The exhibition is made possible with the support of a CSU Faculty Scholarly Initiative internal grant, the CSU College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, The Links, Inc., Cleveland Chapter and the Ohio Arts Council, along with many other generous donors.
Gallery viewing hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. The Galleries are open on Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment only. The Galleries are closed on Sundays.