The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is excited to announce the openings of two extraordinary exhibitions by two extraordinary women. Histories in Africa: Twenty Years of Photography by Elizabeth Gilbert opened on Thursday, September 13 and will remain open through December 30 and Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color will open to the public on Friday, October 12 and will remain open until January 4, 2013. While each exhibit is vastly different, both women were influenced by their international journeys and created work that reflects what they observed and experienced.
Elizabeth Gilbert began as a news photographer, documenting the violent civil wars in Rwanda, Somalia, and Sudan. Wanting to create work that would have a greater impact, she began documenting the vanishing indigenous people and cultures she saw in more remote areas of Eastern Africa. Her captivating black and white photographs capture customs and traditions that are being lost to the steady infiltration of modern culture.
In sharp contrast to the black in white photography, is the vibrant color and varied style that Loïs Mailou Jones used to create equally fascinating work. From bold and energetic textile designs to the soft tones seen in post-impressionism work inspired while living in France back to deep, rich, contrasting hues used to illustrate the people, landscapes, and symbols witnessed living and traveling through Africa, Haiti and America, her work mirrored her journey. Loïs Mailou Jones painted into her early 90’s and dedicated her life to raising the visibility of black artists, something she accomplished despite the struggle she faced as a woman artist of color.
The Cummer Museum celebrates both women’s journeys at a Members’ Opening on Thursday, October 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Museum. Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while listening to live music by Ajamu Mutima. Artist Glendia Cooper, a local potter who also takes inspiration from international travels, will be on site to demonstrate methods she uses to create earthenware clay pieces that capture visual ideas that are mysterious, beautiful and memorable.
This opening is free to members and is $15 for Non-member Guests. Please RSVP by Friday, October 5 to Wendy Stanley at 904-899-6007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.