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''South by South Africa'' Series Opens at Winthrop University Galleries

Quick Facts

 Winthrop Galleries will celebrate the opening of several new exhibitions with a gala reception on Feb. 10.
 Winthrop's West African Drum Ensemble will play during the 6:30-8 p.m. reception.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - A series of new exhibitions open with a gala reception featuring Winthrop's West African Drum Ensemble at Winthrop University Galleries on Feb. 10 from 6:30-8 p.m. 

Winthrop's programming contributions to "South by South Africa – Crafting Cultural Understanding" begin in Rutledge Gallery with the photo-documentary project "Two Worlds Outside: Nukain Mabusa and Joshua Samuel," which continues through March 29. 

As one component of a larger Charlotte regional project titled "South by South Africa – Crafting Cultural Understanding," Winthrop University Galleries will present a comparative exhibition of photographs that documents two outsider art environments. 

At the core of the Rutledge Gallery exhibition titled "Two Worlds Outside: Nukain Mabusa and Joshua Samuel" will be the archives and photographic images by South African artist John Clarke that record the Stone Garden and home of Nukain Mabusa (c.1910-81) in Revolver Creek, Mpumalanga, South Africa. According to Clarke, Mabusa initiated his project with the decoration of two wooden chairs and then continued with his small shack before he began painting the stones and boulders on the hillside of his home with bright patterns of stripes, dots and pictograms representing birds and animals.

As a point of cultural and social comparison, the photographs by folklorist, filmmaker and photographer Roger Manley that document Joshua Samuel’s Can City will be on display with the images of Mabusa’s work. Can City, built from quart oilcans, wooden planks and decorative bunting, existed on a rural stretch of road five miles from Springtown, S.C., in the 1970s. 

Samuel (1898-1984), the son of a South Carolina Lowcountry slave, began the construction of Can City with a specific vision. Samuel’s purpose and forms, in juxtaposition to Mabusa’s work, offer opportunities for dialogue and discussion about the nature of Outsider Art, its role within the community and the perception of outsider artists as adjacent to mainstream society. 

"South by South Africa – Crafting Cultural Understanding" is a multifaceted collaborative arts, crafts, history and tourism development initiative funded in part by the South African Department of Arts and Culture, the Knight Foundation, the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and other institutional Partners including the Afro-American Cultural Center, the Charlotte Symphony, Charlotte Center City Partners, Community Building Initiative, Moving Poets Theater of Dance, the Levine Museum of the New South, N.C. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Opera Carolina, the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, the Light Factory, and Winthrop.

Also at Winthrop, the Lewandowski Gallery will feature the photographs of Catherine Anderson in an exhibition entitled "The Children of Ixopo: Hope and Survival in a Time of AIDS" continuing through Feb. 24. "Beautiful Things: A Showcase of South African Crafts" is featured in the Rutledge Gallery through March 29. 

Other exhibitions include "Fernando Porras: Recent Paintings" in the Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery through March 29 and in the Rutledge Windows with a View, "Beneath the Surface: New Works" by Caroline Rust through March 10. 

For more information about the exhibitions, call Winthrop Galleries at 803/323-2493.

Education and Community Outreach Programs Include:

• Thursday, Jan. 26, 10 a.m. – Rutledge Auditorium
Caroline Rust lecture

• Thursday, Feb. 9, 9:30-10:45 a.m. – Plowden Auditorium
Fernando Porras lecture

• Thursday, Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m. – Rutledge Auditorium
John Clarke lecture: "The Stone Garden of Nukain Mabusa"

• Thursday, Feb. 16, 8 p.m. – Rutledge Auditorium
Catherine Anderson lecture: "The Children of Ixopo"

• Tuesday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m. – Rutledge Auditorium
Roger Manley lecture: "The Outsider Environment"

• Thursday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m. – Rutledge Auditorium
Alice Burmeister lecture: "African Architecture and Built Environments: Practicality, Power and Potency"

• Sunday, Feb. 26, 2 to 3 p.m. – Winthrop University Galleries
Community Open House and reception (meet internationally recognized topiary artist Pearl Fryar)

• Sunday, Feb. 26, 3 p.m. – Rutledge Auditorium
Pearl Fryar lecture

• Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m. – Gallery and grounds
Environmental Connections: "Installation of 'Beautiful Things' on the Grounds"

• Saturday, March 25, 1 p.m. – Rutledge Auditorium
Kurt Warnke lecture

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