African Art Exhibit and Lecture at UNC Asheville

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Jan Goffney displays a few of the African artifacts in her collection.  Photo: Urban News

Staff reports

Africa is often approached by American media through a lens of stereotypes, and few Americans will ever have the opportunity to experience the continent for themselves. An exhibit at UNC Asheville, African Art: A Collector’s Perspective, will begin to break down common misconceptions about Africa by using art and culture to talk about Africa’s past and present.

Jan Goffney, originally from Detroit, MI, is an educator, collector, and curator of art. For years she traveled to Africa collecting artwork and the stories that go along with it. This exhibit showcases a selection of art and artifacts from her personal collection.

Goffney hopes to use the exhibit to break down common misconceptions
about Africa’s past and present. Goffney served as curator in the
Detroit Public Schools Children’s Museum, specializing in ethnic
studies, and later opened her own multicultural museum. She has spent
many years traveling to Africa to collect artworks and their
accompanying stories.

The exhibit, on display at UNC Asheville’s Highsmith University
Union Gallery, includes traditional masks, mortars and pestles, slave
shackles, and Kente cloths, and will be on view January 10-February 7,
2011.

Goffney will also give a lecture accompanying the exhibit at 6
p.m. Thursday, January 20, in the gallery. A reception featuring
traditional African foods will begin at 5:30 p.m. The events are free
and open to the public.

The gallery is located on the lower level of UNC Asheville’s
Highsmith University Union, and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday-Friday. For more information call (828) 251-6991.

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