Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Philadelphia Museum of Art: Creative Africa

The summer season may be coming to a close, but fortunately you still have until September 25th to experience Creative Africa on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Perelman Building (an endeavor achieved in partnership with the Penn Museum).  An eye opening explosion of art, we were blown away by the all the different facets of the exhibit, and how they each showcase the beauty and history of the African continent.  We loved the tone of the exhibit - a total celebration of an amazing mix of cultures.  Creative Africa ushers in either a deeper appreciation of a way of life beyond one's own or a deeper sense of pride in a personal heritage. It tells a story of different groups of people with common histories yet unique ways of looking at and reacting to them.

Creative Africa highlights an array of different art mediums spanning centuries of formation from photography and fashion to sculpture and architecture.  The exhibit also shines a light on various locations around and sometimes very conflicting views of the continent.  For example, Three Photographers/Six Cities takes a look at Cairo, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Bamako, and Tombouctou while Threads of Tradition showcases textiles from West and Central Africa. We also love how Creative Africa uses less traditional methods of exhibiting artwork and innovation as through the colorful runway of Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Scale and the multimedia look at what The Architecture of Frances Kere: Building for a Community is doing to improve lives in Burkina Faso.

One of the best parts of the exhibit was how interactive each part was with a hands on station in almost every part of the building.  From being able to create your own textiles and guardian image masks to using special "cameras" to go on assignment in the photography area, Creative Africa doesn't just show the results of others' creativity, it also inspires creativity in its visitors.

Daily Vacationer Jr says:  Creative Africa is the focal point of this year's Art Splash with age appropriate tours,  hands on crafts, and loads of fascinating fun!




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