The two most recent exhibitions in the Augsburg Art Galleries opened in the beginning of November and will be here until Dec. 16. The Gage Family Art Gallery in the Oren Gateway Center is showing “Journey Toward Healing,” collages by Janette Haley and photographs by Arthur Hand. The Christensen Center Art Gallery is showing “Threads of Community/Dunta Bulshada iskuxirta.”
The Christensen Center exhibition, “Threads of Community,” which in Somali is translated “Dunta Bulshada iskuxirta,” features colorful yarn weavings made by Somali elder women. These weavers, who are refugees from the war in Somalia, are re-creating an art they learned from their mothers and grandmothers as teenagers. The women were not able to weave during the years spent in camps because they did not have materials.
Augsburg College is collaborating with its Cedar-Riverside neighbor, the East African Women’s Center, to present the selection of twined tapestries from the hands of the Somali weavers. At the Women’s Center, which has served as the women’s “home away from home” since 2005, they are able to practice their art again. Twined weavings have been used for hundreds of years in Somalia for baskets, bags, rugs, as decorations for homes, and saddles for camels and horses.
All are invited to the community receptions for “Threads of Community” on Friday, Nov. 16 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Christensen Center Art Gallery and the East African Women’s Center. Free transportation will be available to shuttle visitors between each location. All reception events are free and open to the public.
The Gage Family Art Gallery exhibition, “Journey Toward Healing,” features two artists, a wife and husband, who had separate careers until 1998 when Maley was diagnosed with breast cancer. Maley became her own subject matter as she started a series of small collage works that examine self image, cultural constructions of beauty, and physical and psychological change. Meanwhile, Hand began an intimate series of portraits of Maley on her journey through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, on her years as a survivor, and, ultimately, on her death in September 2006. Hand’s journey carries on in the face of this loss, sharing the art that connected their lives, confronted their fears, and continues to give him strength and hope.