Willimantic, Conn: — Imna Arroyo, visual arts professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, is one of 14 artists and writers included in “Shared Memories/Memorias Compartisas,” an exhibition that runs from Oct. 25 through Nov. 21 at City Lights, located at 37 Markle Court in Bridgeport, and from Nov. 30 — Feb. 22, 2013, at the Provenance Center in New London.
An opening reception for the exhibition takes place on Oct. 25 from 6-9 p.m. Artists will talk and present readings on Nov. 9 from 6-9 p.m. The public is invited. Admission is free.
The limited editions artist book, “Eleggua,” and the portfolio of “The Sacred Family” accompany the “Shared Memories” exhibition. The artist book, authored by Eastern English Professor Raouf Mama and Cuban writer and critic Roberto Zurbano, includes prints by 12 artists — nine from Cuba, including master printer Ramón Vargas Ártiz, 2012 Artist-in-Residence at Eastern; Amanda Lebel and Cynthia Guild, part-time faculty members in Eastern’s Visual Arts Department; and Arroyo, a native of Puerto Rico.
“Eleggua” was inspired by storytelling traditions from Benin and the Afro-Cuban Yoruba trickster tales. The portfolio is a collaboration between Artiz and Arroyo, inspired by 31 Orichas or deities from the Yoruba Pantheon. Both projects are a collection of linoleum cut prints that celebrate the storytelling traditions of Africa, including scholarship and artwork devoted to recovering the rich visual language of Beninese and Afro-Caribbean Yoruba mythology and folklore.
In addition, recent artworks by Ártiz are featured in the exhibition. Benjamin Ortiz of the City Lights Gallery and Migdalia Salas of the New London-based Provenance Art Center, are curators for the exhibition.
Artwork in the book was printed at the Taller Experimental de la Grafica de la Habana Cuba, El Templo Printmaking Studio de Santiago de Las Vegas, Cuba and Ama-Bel Press Printmaking Studio in Willimantic. Estampas Ancestrales/Ancestral Imprint, 2012, publishes the books.
The “Shared Memories” Exhibition is organized by Arroyo and is sponsored by research grants from the Connecticut State University System; Taller Experimental de la Grafica & Museo Casa Africa, Habana, Cuba; BOZarte, LLC; and Salas, founder/director of the Hispanic Alliance of Southeastern Connecticut/MS 17 Arts Initiative.
City Lights gallery hours are 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information on the “Shared Memories” exhibition visit www.citylightsgallery.org or call (203) 334-7748.
Eastern Connecticut State University is the state’s public liberal arts university and serves approximately 5,400 students each year on its Willimantic campus and satellite locations.