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Mali On Our Minds, the summer exhibition of the RCAH LookOut! Art Gallery, celebrates Malian culture through textiles, sculpture, and photography.
The exhibit runs from May 16 through September 20, 2013. LookOut! Art Gallery is open Mondays through Fridays from noon to 2 p.m. It is located in C200 Snyder-Phillips Hall on the Michigan State University campus.
On Sunday, September 8, from 1 to 3 p.m., a reception for Mali On Our Minds will be held in the LookOut! Gallery.
At a time when Malians have been threatened by separatists and fundamentalist Islamic incursions in the wake of the 2012 military coup that toppled their 20-year-old democracy, the RCAH honors the rich, living traditions of visual art that continue to invigorate and inspire Malians, providing lifelines to a better future. With attacks now staunched by a French-led counter-insurgency force, this summer will bring new democratic elections and the beginning of a process to reintegrate contending political parties and ethnic groups through a national Commission for Dialogue and Reconciliation.
This exhibition is especially rich in examples of Malian textiles, including bogolan (mud-cloth) and mass-produced cotton prints. It provides an overview of the multiple arenas of Malian fabric production: traditional techniques, commercial and touristic production, and new approaches to fiber design created by contemporary Malian artists.
Three-dimensional works, mostly created with wood, include masks, door locks (examples of traditional Dogon culture), and characteristic Malian CiWara antelope carvings.
Malian photographer Tijani Sitou and American photographer Alexandra Huddleston provide contextual insight through their photos.
The exhibition is curated by Chris Worland; her loans are supplemented by works lent by the MSU Museum and by RCAH faculty and students.