Colors of Africa: Contemporary Art from the Continent

Mbari Institute

Winston-Salem State University's Diggs Gallery will celebrate this winter season with shows that testify to the wealth of creativity that stems from Africa. On January 31, 2003 at 5:30 p.m., the Gallery will open two exhibits, Colors of Africa: Contemporary Art from the Continent, and Ancestral Instinct: Works by Tina Dunkley. The festivities will include African music, gallery talks by guest curator Mimi Wolford, Director of the Mbari Institute for Contemporary African Art, and noted Atlanta artist Tina Dunkley. Everyone is encouraged to wear African attire and drummers are encouraged to bring their drums for an evening jam session.

Colors of Africa: Contemporary Art from the Continent surveys over 70 works of fine art by 40 contemporary artists representing 19 African countries. It offers viewers the rare opportunity to explore works by 12 African women artists from Egypt, Madagascar, Mali, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Works by well-known artists such as Salahi and Nour from Sudan, El Loko from Togo, Twins 77, Chief Muraina Oyelami and Jimoh Buraimoh from Nigeria, Ablade Glover of Ghana and Kentridge from South Africa bring familiarity to the exhibition. However, it also highlights artists from Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, The Gambia, Benin, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.

The curator, Mimi Wolford of the MBARI Institute for Contemporary African Art in Washington, DC, also selected four works from the Diggs Gallery permanent collection for the exhibition. The works include batiks by Nigerian female artists Aloke Buraimoh and Nike, as well as a work by the foremost Nigerian Printmaker Bruce Onobrakpeya.

In 1970, Wolford, a graduate of Mills College co-founded Mbari Art, an organization promoting international cultural exchange; and presenting the works of artists from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the United States in prominent museums and institutions in the U.S. and abroad -including three simultaneously at the Corcoran, Renwick and National Museum of African Art. Mbari has arranged over 100 exhibitions. In 1995, Wolford founded the non-profit Mbari Institute for Contemporary African Art (MICAA), a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the collection, preservation, identification, documentation, and exhibition of work pertaining to the art, craft, and culture of Africa. Its goals are to educate the public, give visibility to African artists, promote and publish research, and act as a permanent repository for the works of contemporary African artists, books, publications, and related materials.

The exhibitions will remain on view through April 5, 2003.