A kingdom of bronze in the library

On Jan. 31, the 10th Annual African Presence Exhibition, sponsored and founded by the Office of University Relations, will kick off NSU’s annual Black History Month celebration. The exhibit, entitled “The Benin: A Kingdom of Bronze”, will be unveiled at the Alvin Sherman Library and will feature brass, wood and terracotta artworks of five centuries.

Mara Kiffin, chair of the African Presence Art Exhibition Organizing Committee, says that the committee chose “Benin: A Kingdom in Bronze” because “We try to do something unique every year and this will be the first time we spotlight a primarily bronze exhibition.”

The exhibit will be displayed on the second floor gallery of the Alvin Sherman Library. The gallery space has been uniquely transformed into a reproduction of the Oba (Monarch Palace), and will give visitors a historic sense of the African social organization.

Kiffin said, “We are very excited to view the show. We invite the entire NSU community to come out.”

The more than 80 pieces of art come from the Ebohon Cultural Center of Benin City, Nigeria, one of West Africa’s largest private museums. The renowned institution also houses a collection of more than 7,000 historic and artistic pieces and some documents dating back to the 18th century.

The curator for the this year’s exhibit is Babacar MBow, a Nigerian native and member the Florida Africana Studies Consortium, a group of Africana scholars. MBow also has an art gallery in Miami and often travels around the world, curating and teaching African art and culture.

The exhibit he has curated for NSU will feature artifacts from the royal court of Benin, Nigeria. These sculptures and other works were created to glorify the godlike king and his empire.

To welcome the exhibit, an opening reception will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 in the Don Taft University Center. The reception will feature dance performances and music, along with refreshments and giveaways. The celebration will culminate in a trip to the second floor gallery of the Alvin Sherman Library to officially unveil the exhibit.

The Opening Reception is free and open to the public. RSVP by calling 954-262-5357 or email serioux@nova.edu. “Benin: A Kingdom of Bronze” will be on display until Feb. 26. The exhibit is also free and open to the public, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.nova.edu/blackhistory.

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