A STAFF REPORT
THE GOSHEN NEWS
The “Indigenous Arts of Africa” exhibit is underway at Goshen College Music Center’s Hershberger Art Gallery. This exhibition of 21st-century African art is a sampling of the collection of Ann and Keith Graber Miller, owners of Found, an art gallery in downtown Goshen.
The showcase runs through Sept. 22. There will be a reception on the last day of the exhibit from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., with a lecture following.
Collected from the Graber Millers’ travels in Kenya and Ethiopia, as well as their acquisition of the West African collections of several others, the exhibition includes: a beaded chieftan’s coat from Nigeria, antique woven vegetal and leather baskets from the Orono people of Ethiopia, fabrics from Ghana and Congo, bronze statues from Cameroon and Benin, large ceremonial masks from the Bobo people of Burkina Faso, stone Shona sculptures from Zimbabwe and Ethiopian Orthodox icons. The collection is a combination of ceremonial objects as well as artifacts from daily life.
“Our collecting is what led us to open our store Found,” Graber Miller said. “We mainly travel and collect art from Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, but this is our first show from one specific continent.”
After seeing the collection of African art at Found, Goshen College Assistant Professor of Art Kristi Glick invited the Graber Millers to exhibit in the Hershberger Art Gallery.
The Graber Millers African collection originated when the couple planned to travel to Kenya and Ethiopia two years ago. In preparation for their trip they began visiting African art galleries in Chicago, Indianapolis and New Orleans to get a sense of what might be available. They purchased a number of pieces prior to and then after traveling to Africa, including a warehouse of African art in Indianapolis that had been part of three separate collections. Many of those works are included in the current show.
Keith is professor of religion in Goshen College’s Bible and Religion Department and Ann is an interior design consultant. The Graber Millers have been collecting art since they were married in 1987.
The Hershberger Art Gallery is located in the Music Center and is open during the summer from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on weekends and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
Information for this article was provided by Lexi Kantz of Goshen College.