Spirit of the Masquerade | Department of Pan-African Studies | Kent State University

Spirit of the Masquerade

Oscar Ritchie Hall
134

The Uumbaji Art Gallery located at Kent State University Oscar Ritchie Hall, is pleased to present “Spirit of the Masquerade”, a doll exhibition, themed Masquerades of Western Africa.  The exhibit dates are September 3 to September 28, 2018 featuring a closing reception on Friday, September 21, 2018 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the gallery room 134. Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  This exhibit is free and open to the public.

Artist featured in this exhibit is Orisanmi Kehinde Odesanya formerly known as Joyce Morrow Jones has been designing and creating dolls for over 20 years.  Through a passion for African art and culture, she has created more than 200 small-scale figures to honor Yoruba deities and masqueraders. Along with her small-scale figures, Orisanmi created a full-sized masked costume for this exhibition.  Her work embodies the wisdom and folklore of oral tradition and thereby represents the philosophy, spirituality and performance of Yoruba expressive culture.

For many cultures and people, the mask facilitates the bridge between the physical and spiritual realms.  Spirit of the Masquerade recreates the beauty of the Mask through a doll series, educational program exhibit.  Masks featured in this exhibit are: Yoruba Raffia, Yoruba Gelede, Yoruba Egungun, Bwa Masquerade, Burkina Faso, Sande Sowo, Dogon, Epka, Acuba, Benin, Chowke Pwo, Ghanian Style, and Bamileke.  According to Odesanya, “the Masquerade. . . telling the story: The appreciation of a culture begins with understanding.” Learn more about the artists’ point of view