Art of Northeast Brazil featured at UNE’s Portland Art Gallery

Nossa Senhora de Aparecida (Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil), by J. Borges, colored woodblock print, 26 x 19 inches,
"Nossa Senhora de Aparecida" (Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil), by J. Borges, colored woodblock print, 26 x 19 inches, courtesy Con/Vida-Popular Arts of the Americas © J. Borges. Image: Paul Primeau

March 23, 2017

The University of New England Art Gallery, Portland Campus, is pleased to announce a new exhibition, BANDITS & HEROES, POETS & SAINTS, Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil, which will be mounted from April 6 through May 25, 2017.  On April 6, there will be a panel discussion with UNE Professors Paul Burlin, Sam McReynolds and Steve Byrd from 4 to 5 p.m. and an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) on the Road, this exhibition explores how the ancient cultures of Africa blended with indigenous and colonial Portuguese traditions to form the vibrant and complex cultural mosaic of modern Brazil.  Engaging photographs and works of popular art, including sculptures, paintings, prints, religious objects, toys and booklets of poetry, will draw visitors into the rich traditions of the Northeast of Brazil and introduce the festivals, heroes and spiritual traditions that give meaning to the daily lives of the Nordestinos, common people of Brazil’s Northeast. 

This exhibition illuminates the resilience and vitality of modern-day descendants of Africa by highlighting three cultural aspects: the land and its people; expressions of faith; and poetry, celebration and song.  The exhibition features colorful immersive environments as well as hands-on interactive music and video components.

Byrd will conduct a film evening with UNE students and the public at large on April 19 at 6:30 p.m.

This exhibition was curated by Marion Jackson, Ph.D., and Barbara Cervenka, O.P., and was organized by Con/Vida-Popular Arts of the Americas and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, Michigan, in partnership with NEH on the Road/Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, Missouri.  The UNE Gallery is the first institution in Maine to be awarded an NEH on the Road traveling exhibition.

The Gallery is open to the public free of charge.  Hours of operation are Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun: noon – 5 p.m., and Thurs, noon – 7 p.m., as well as by appointment. Call 207-221-4499. 

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