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01/11/2005

Artist to Lecture on South American Indians' Plight

Quick Facts

 The 2 p.m. talk in McBryde Hall will be given by artist Fernando Porras, a native of Venezuelan and instructor at Concord University in Athens, W.Va.
 Porras will introduce attendees to the Warao people, an indigenous group of people living in the South American rainforest, whose civilization has been in jeopardy due to constant exploitation of the area.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University will host a free lecture on Jan. 14 in conjunction with its freshman general education course, GNED 102 "The Human Experience: Who Am I?"

The 2 p.m. talk in McBryde Hall will be given by artist Fernando Porras, a native of Venezuelan and instructor at Concord University in Athens, W.Va. Through oil and watercolor paintings, mainly portraits of children, Porras will introduce attendees to the Warao people, an indigenous group of people living in the South American rainforest, whose civilization has been in jeopardy due to constant exploitation of the area.

In April 2004, Porras donated a painting from his series promoting the South American Warao people to Discovery Place Museum in Charlotte, N.C. The artist and museum gave Winthrop permission to reproduce the painting for the cover illustration for Winthrop's GNED 102 course booklet.

Porras has been exhibiting his work and lecturing on the subject since 1992 and, by highlighting the Warao people's plight, helps to promote the importance of preserving the tribe's unique culture and customs.

Porras has shown his work in seven Eastern states and the District of Columbia, and his art is owned in private and corporate collections. A First of South America Conservation Stamp and print series were printed from one of his watercolors. The stamp was used in Porras' native country to help raise funds to purchase wetlands, which will serve as a national reserve for endangered South American waterfowl.

For more information, contact Marilyn Smith, director of general education, at 803/323-2697.


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