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September 2011

Anastasia & Friends Gallery in Columbia, SC, Offers Exhibit Inspired by Africa

Anastasia & Friends Gallery in Columbia, SC, will present the exhibit, The Art of Africa, featuring works inspired by the culture, people and art of Africa, on view from Sept. 1 - 29, 2011. A reception will be held on Sept. 1, from 6-9pm during Columbia’s First Friday on Main. This event offers performance by Abou Sylla, Next Door Drummers, and Sufia Giza Amenwashu.

Artists participating in the exhibit are: Anastasia Chernoff, Lee Ann Kornegay, Rodgers Boykin, Michaela Pilar Brown, Wendell Brown, Tyrone Geter, Arianne Comer King, and Keith Tolen.

The exhibit will present works of art created by artists with African roots and by those who have been inspired by Africa. The exhibition will be a combination of paintings, sculpture, film, music, mixed media and textiles. An explosion of color, texture and emotions, The Art of Africa brings connection to the culture and gives a perspective from many sides.

“My trip to Botswana, South Africa and Robben Island in 2005 changed my life,” says Anastasia Chernoff. “I was overwhelmed by the warmth of the people and their respectful co-existence with the animals and nature surrounding them. When my guide spoke to me about the trials of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, my heart was stung with an even deeper love for these beautiful, forgiving people. I thought to myself, if only the world could subscribe to this policy of understanding and be able to live in harmony with each other and not against each other … how would that look? And to be able to fully understand the importance/impact of forgiveness, not just for others, but for self, too? For me, it was a thunderbolt of enlightenment from these simple, yet wise people who lived in the bush. The inspiration was so empowering, that I immediately began to sculpt (for the first time in my life) when I returned home. This show honors that initial influence.”

Lee Ann Kornegay, traveled to Guinea in 2000 & 2002 to study and film the cultural arts and between 2003 and 2005 went to Ivory Coast and Nigeria on work assignments. “I wept the first time I flew in over Africa. It was a powerful feeling, a visceral reaction. My trips to Guinea put me in the company of some the best West African musicians and dancers of our time. I was and still am humbled by that.”

“One of those musicians, Abou Sylla, master balafonist and Jeli will be performing at The Art of Africa,” adds Kornegay. “A singer, storyteller and doyen, Abou is a treat for the ears.”

Wendell Brown, a fiber artist feels family history “forced me as an artist to use my work as a platform to look at the acculturation of African slaves in the United States. What survived of African culture in America? What is it today?”

“In search for answers, I looked at the Congo, Nail Fetish Sculptures (nkisi nkondi), and the masks of West, and Central African,” adds Brown. “Studying these objects revealed to me the stitch that united the African Art forms with African American quilts.”

There will also be a silent auction during this exhibition for an original painting called, Shackled Faces, created by artists, Arielle Fern Teer and Caitlin Beidler to create better awareness about and help prevent human trafficking in South Carolina. The proceeds will benefit the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network, which has provided coordination for representatives of all agencies involved in victim/witness services through its collaboration, publicity, advocacy, and victim assistance functions since 1984. For info visit (

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 803/665-6902 or e-mail to (


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