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Date: Nov 05, 2010
Hofstra University Museum Presents Soweto Art: From the Collection of Violet and Les Payne
Exhibition Depicts Art of Soweto Artists Before and After Historic Uprising
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – The original exhibit Soweto Art: From the Collection of Violet and Les Payne, commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, will be on view from February 1 through April 21, 2011 in the Hofstra University Museum’s Emily Lowe Gallery.
The exhibition includes approximately forty paintings and works on paper by artists of Soweto, South Africa including David Mbele, Velaphi Mzimba, Hargreaves Ntukwana, and Winston Saoli. A reception will take place on Thursday, February 3, 2011 at 4:30 p.m and will include comments by Les Payne, owner of the art work and a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who covered South Africa for Newsday during the period of the uprising. The reception will also feature a performance of original interpretive dances by Hofstra University students under the direction of Adjunct Associate Professor of Drama and Dance, Dyane Harvey.
On June 16, 1976, Soweto was the site of a series of clashes between black students and residents protesting apartheid policies and the South African authorities. This historic event is now known as the Soweto Uprising. The artists featured in this exhibition lived through this intense moment in history and created their art despite the turmoil and difficulties they experienced.
“Caught up in a global struggle against apartheid, these Soweto painters and sculptors put aside bitter politics and devoted their lives to pure art drawing upon the optimism of the human spirit. While capturing life in the township under siege, they speak in that key, universal register that connects us all in an appreciation of form, texture, humanity and spiritual beauty. Most of them died young and their creations have gained overdue recognition in Europe, England, Australia and increasingly, the U.S.,” explains Les Payne.
A fully illustrated four-color catalog, Soweto Art: From the Collection of Violet and Les Payne with an essay by Les Payne, accompanies the exhibition.
“We are honored to present Soweto Art: From the Violet and Les Payne Collection” as a commemoration of this pivotal moment in history, as well as the continual fight for individual freedoms around the globe,” said Executive Director of the Hofstra University Museum Beth E. Levinthal. “Violet and Les Payne have constructed a thoughtful collection of works that underscores the creative spirit that will not be squelched even in the most difficult of circumstances.”
Additional public programs are planned including The Soweto Uprising: A Firsthand Account – a presentation by Les Payne about his coverage of the Soweto Uprising, his relationship with the artists of Soweto, and the growth of his collection on February 10, 2011at 4:30 pm in Emily Lowe Gallery. A Concert in the Gallery with The Hevereh Ensemble to complement the exhibition will be performed on February 13, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. in the Emily Lowe Gallery. A family program, Gumboots and Beading exploring dance and other artistic crafts of the Soweto region will be held on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Emily Lowe Gallery.
Hofstra University Museum gratefully acknowledges the following exhibition sponsors: New York Community Bank Foundation and Hofstra University. For more information on this exhibit and other programs offered by the Hofstra University Museum please visit www.hofstra.edu/museum
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