“Guardians of Nature” Exhibit Opens at Eastern

Written by Ed Osborn
Guardians-Rodriguez Ancestral ThroneWillimantic, Conn.—The Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University will present the work of Isolina Limonta, José Rodríguez, Gerald Lee Hoffman and Donna Roberts in the exhibition “Guardians of Nature” from Nov. 2 to Dec. 8. A reception will be held on Nov. 3 from 4–6 p.m. and is open to the public.

Two “University Hour” talks will support and enrich the exhibition. On Nov. 2, Limonta and Rodríguez will discuss “Creating Art of the Sacred and Sublime” in the Fine Arts Instructional Center Concert Hall. Hoffman and Roberts will screen their documentary “Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil” in the Student Center Theater on Nov. 9. Both talks will take place from 3–4 p.m.

Curated by Art Professor Imna Arroyo in collaboration with ArtGuardians Limonta El MaestroHistory Professor Gail Gelburd, “Guardians of Nature” explores the inter-relationship between art, ecology and spirituality in the African and Latin American worlds, with a particular focus on Yemanjá, goddess of the sea, and other Orichas from the pantheon of the Yoruba religion.

Cuban printmaker Limonta is one of the most prolific and successful artists of her generation. The stunningly rich colors and textures of her prints reflect the strong influence of the Afro-Cuban religion Santería, as well her own distinctly feminine perspective. Her work is also part of Eastern’s permanent art collection.

New York-based Rodríguez views himself not only as a contemporary artist in an increasingly global era, but also as a traditional practitioner who creates ritual objects and ceremonial regalia, including altars to Orichas.

Guardians Hoffman Mae (Mother)Hoffman is a photographer and the principal videographer for “Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil,” which was directed, produced and co-written by Roberts. In both film and photographs, Hoffman and Roberts tell the story of the Candomblé spiritual tradition in Bahia, Brazil.

The Art Gallery is located in Room 112 of the FAIC, on the Eastern Connecticut State University campus. Parking is available in Cervantes Garage and in the Student Center parking lot. Gallery hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 11 to 5 p.m., Thursday 1 to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 2 to 5 p.m. For more information regarding this and other exhibitions at The Art Gallery, please call (860) 465-4659 or visit http://www.easternct.edu/artgallery/.