|Women and spiritual practice among exhibition focuses|
|Thursday, January 07, 2010|
Painter Lucia Mendez of the Dominican Republic depicts Caribbean women in spiritual practices.
Atlanta-based photographer and painter Wendy Phillips documents women’s spiritual cleansing rituals and daily life in Afro-Mexican communities.
Both artists’ work will be displayed Feb. 4 through April 30 in a free public exhibition at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“La Sombra y el Expíritu [The Shadow and the Spirit]: Women’s Healing Rituals in the Diaspora – the Work of Lucia Mendez and Wendy Phillips” will highlight women in spiritual practice and as healers.
The exhibition will be in the center’s Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays (closed University holidays). Free audio cell phone tours will be available.
A free public opening for the exhibition will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at the center, located off South Road near the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower. Phillips and Spellman College art professor Arturo Lindsay will speak. Mendez will not attend, but Radames Rivera of Galeria Exodo in San Juan, Puerto Rico will be on hand. The exhibition is a joint project with Galeria Exodo.
“This exhibition is an important and timely examination of the ways women in the African diaspora acknowledge the spiritual and the unseen forces in their daily lives,” said Joseph Jordan, Ph.D., Stone Center director and curator of the exhibition. “The work of Mendez and Phillips represents their meditations on those ideas and their affirmation of these practices wherever they might occur.”
Some of Mendez’ paintings are on permanent display in the Bank of America building in Washington, D.C. She has been part of numerous group shows, especially in her native Dominican Republic. She has been a professor of art history, anatomy and painting at the Politécnico Maria de la Altagracia, a university in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital.
Phillips, an artist and psychologist, is on the faculties at Goddard College in Vermont and Pacifica Graduate Institute in California. She often includes interview material with her photos. She creates sepia-toned images on fiber via a silver gelatin process. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Ala.
UNC sponsors of “La Sombra y el Expíritu: Women’s Healing Rituals in the Diaspora – the Work of Lucia Mendez and Wendy Phillips” include the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the program in Latina/o studies. Other sponsors are the Asociacion de Puertorriquenos Unidos del Carolina del Norte (Association of United Puerto Ricans of North Carolina), the Chapel Hill Institute for Cultural and Language Education and the TROSA Frame Shop of Durham.
Note: Media preview dates will be Jan. 20 and Jan. 21. To arrange a time, call (919) 843-2668.
Lucia Mendez, “Servidoras de Misterios con Flores” para los “Seres III,” acrylic on canvas: http://uncnews.unc.edu/images/stories/news/arts/2010/mendez-rgb_cover%20image.jpg