FARMINGTON – The University of Maine at Farmington is showing the exhibit “West African Art in Western Maine” through Friday, March 28, at the UMF Art Gallery. An opening reception, including a taste of West African food by Aramark, will be held at the gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 20. Linda Beck, UMF assistant professor of political science, will give a presentation at 5:45 p.m.

The exhibit of selected items from the private collections of a University professor and a local community member includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, textiles and other artifacts from the rich West African cultures of Senegal, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Burkina Faso.

The show offers both an artistic and technical look at the sophisticated art traditions of these West African countries, with areas in the gallery showcasing the artifacts’ artistic expression and the technical processes required to create them.

“Africa, though four times the size of the United States, is an area of the world that we as Americans know so little about,” Beck said. “This exhibit enhances the opportunity for the local community to learn more about this diverse and culturally rich area of the world.”

Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. The UMF Art Gallery at 246 Main St. is open weekly from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

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