Tribal Artery


BAYSIDE, NEW YORK July 25, 2005 -

Artists and Patrons in Traditional African Cultures:
African Sculptures from the Gary Schulze Collection,
a collection representing over 30 different cultures,
spanning 15 countries, and some 2000 years of history
will be exhibited at the Queensborough Community
College Art Gallery through September 30, 2005.

The oldest artifacts, terracottas from the Nok area of Nigeria, date from 500 B.C.
to c. 200 A.D., followed by Sape Confederation stone carvings dating from the
15th to the 17th century. Benin ivory and cast bronze objects were created
during the 18th century, while the wood sculpture dates primarily from the 20th
century, the miniature Benin ivory leopard is one of only two in existence.

In Artists and Patrons, objects from West Africa predominate. Many originate
among the Mende, Sherbro and Temne of Sierra Leone. Other areas of Africa are
well represented, by masks and figures from the Dan, Grebo and We in Liberia and
Ivory Coast, for instance, and by sculpture from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon
and the Congo.

This impressive exhibit has been curated by Donna Page, a noted authority on the
art of Africa. Her essays include "Two, Three, Four: Multiples in African Art"
for Muhlenberg College (1987), "Keepers of the History" in African Art from the
Collection of Dr. Michael Berger for the SMA Museum in Tenafly, N.J. (1997) and
the forthcoming Surfaces: Color, Substances and Ritual Applications on African
Sculpture. She was an adjunct in the Department of Art and Photography at
Queensborough College from 1987 to 1999. She currently operates from her
studio in NYC, doing research in and restoration of African sculpture.

The wide variety of important and historic sculpture in this exhibition comes to
Queensborough via the collection of Gary Schulze, who began studying African
objects during his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone during the
early 1960s.

Over the past 20 years, Mr. Schulze has gathered an impressive selection of
traditional African sculpture in a variety of media. Objects from his personal
collection have been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC,
the Yale Art Museum, Princeton University Art Museum and the Studio Museum of
Harlem.

Pieces from his collection are illustrated in both the 1965 and 1986 editions of
African Art in American Collections, published by the Smithsonian Institution,
and in the forthcoming Surfaces: Color, Substances and Ritual Applications in
African Art, Donna Page and Leonard Kahan, editors.

Mr. Schulze helped the late Dr. M.C.F. Easmon establish the Sierra Leone
National Museum in Freetown where he was Acting Curator in 1962-63. He also
served as Secretary to the Sierra Leone Monuments and Relics Commission. He
traveled throughout the provinces collecting traditional art for the Museum
collection and lectured on African art at the University of Sierra Leone. In
1996 he served as a United Nations Observer during Sierra Leone's Presidential
and Parliamentary elections.

Several of the objects to be exhibited are now in the collection of
Queensborough Community College. With his generous donations to the QCC
Gallery, Mr. Schulze has established a basis for the formation of a collection
which will grow over time to represent the best of Africa's sculpture-producing
cultures.

Artists and Patrons is the latest in a series of acclaimed shows at the Gallery
since its re-launch last fall. Others include An American Odyssey (Debating
Modernism), which received favorable attention from numerous publications,
including the New York Times, Time Out NY, and The New Yorker; exhibits of the
work of painter Rosalyn Engelman and sculptor Carole Feuerman; and a current
exhibition of pieces from the Gallery's Permanent African Art Collection and of
the ancient Khabouris Codex.

The QCC Art Gallery is open free to the public on Tuesday and Friday from 10 to
5 pm; Wednesday and Thursday from 10 to 7 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 5
pm; and is closed on Monday. It is located on the campus of Queensborough
Community College at 222-05 56th Avenue in Bayside (exit 29 on the Long Island
Expressway). For further information and directions, visit
www.qccartgallery.org or call 718-631-6396.

 

Copyright 2005 Aboriginals: Art of the First Person