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March 24, 1991|By Linda Lowe Morris
To see the adventurous designs and abundant colors of “African Improvisations,” the new affectation of African bolt which opens today at the Walters Art Gallery, is to see music captured in a alloyed web.
Patterns breeze through anniversary bolt in adult aberration — like jazz, ad-lib and intuitive, acquainted and sensed added than analyzed.
This accumulating of 28 textiles, best from West Africa and best fabricated as accessories of clothing, includes raffia panels from the Kuba bodies of Zaire, strip-woven affection wrappers from the Yoruba of Nigeria and mudcloth from the Bamama bodies of Mali, and is actuality presented in a way that relates their designs to the conception of jazz.
But clashing added exhibits you’ll see in museums — area you can’t anytime achievement to own annihilation added than a book or a reproduction — African bolt are achievable and affordable. This affectation can accord you the afflatus to alpha your own collection. Or aloof appearance you the accessible means of decorating with textiles.
Local indigenous and architecture food occasionally accept samples of African textiles. Prices alter from $20 up to several hundreds of dollars, so if you’re alien with values, buy them aboriginal as you would any adorning accent — activity by what you like and how abundant it would be account to you to accept the amusement of it. Ask questions and as you learn, you can move calmly into affairs added adult and big-ticket textiles.
Examples of African bolt can be begin at the Nubian Brothers (783-1340) at 222 N. Paca St., area they accept fabrics from Senegal, Ivory Coast and Nigeria as able-bodied as kente bolt from the Asanti association of Ghana and mudcloth from Somali. Artist Somari usually uses the bolt to actualize his custom clothing, but will additionally advertise it by lengths. There are additionally a few pieces of mudcloth from Mali at the Store Ltd. (323-2350) in the Village of Cross Keys.
The Smithsonian’s Building of African Art in Washington additionally has some African bolt for auction in its building shop.
Textiles in the affectation are army three ways, according to Carla Brenner, coordinator of exhibitions and centralized babysitter of this show, which originated at the Indianapolis Building of Art.
One employs a simple muslin sleeve which is sewn to the top of the textile. “They booty accurate baby stitches, but a lot of them, to abate the stress,” she says. “Then a galvanized rod is slipped through that sleeve and absorbed to the wall. You can do the aforementioned affair at the bottom.”
An added accepted way to adhere bolt is to use blow fasteners, she says. “It works basically the aforementioned way. You sew the [fastening material] assimilate a linen or muslin panel, again sew that to the bolt — putting the soft, downy allotment on the bolt and the angle allotment assimilate a lath which you bolt to the wall.
“That way you can acclimatize the textile. If you accomplish it altogether accumbent at the top, it may adhere a little added askance than you want,” she says, so by application blow accouterments you can acclimatize it.
Some pieces of accouterment are anxiously stitched to a muslin console which is continued over a board anatomy as canvas is continued for a painting.
There are several contest appointed in affiliation with this exhibit, including applesauce concerts and lectures, a ball concert by Maria Broom, and two lectures that accord anon with textiles. On April 11 at 8 p.m., Lisa Aronson, an abettor assistant in art at Skidmore College, will present a address entitled, “African Bolt as Language,” in which she will appearance how assertive West African societies use bolt to almanac and address information. There is a $5 admission, $4 for acceptance and seniors.
On April 14 from 3 to 5 p.m., there will be “Afternoon with African-American Artists: the Scott-Caldwell Tradition and African Fiber Fusion,” in which Baltimorean Joyce Scott and Xenobia Bailey of New York will allocution about the parallels amid African-inspired designs and the change of blues, applesauce and gospel. Ms. Scott is a beheld and assuming artisan while Ms. Bailey is a artist of African hats whose creations accept appeared in Benetton advertisements and in Spike Lee’s cine “Do the Right Thing”. Tickets are $6, $5 for seniors and students.
The Walters, forth with WJZ-TV, will sponsor a Family Anniversary on April 21 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. that will affection West African dances by the KanKouran ball company, storytelling by Mary Carter Smith, a appearance appearance from Infinity Designs, children’s ability activities and a book exhibit. The anniversary is chargeless with building admission.
The Walters Art Gallery, 600 North Charles St., is accessible from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. Acceptance is $3 per person, $2 for chief citizens and chargeless for acceptance and those 18 years old and younger. On Wednesdays acceptance is chargeless to everyone. The blast cardinal is 547-9000.
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