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From Senegal to Wisconsin—Professors Secure Major Art Exhibition for the Wright Museum

September 3, 2018
By Christa Story

Guet Ndar Masjid (Near, Saint-Louis), 2016Guet Ndar Masjid (Near, Saint-Louis), 2016, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Digital C-print

The View From Here: Contemporary Perspectives From Senegal opens at the Wright Museum of Art on Thursday, Sept. 6. Curated by Kent State University Professor Joseph Underwood, the exhibit features pieces created by African artists since 2010 and focuses on individuals uncovering aspects of their identity as they reflect on everyday life in contemporary Senegal. The exhibit has traveled from Dakar, Senegal, and will be at Beloit from Sept. 6 to early November. It will then travel to at Kent State and SUNY Stony Brook before returning to Senegal.

This exhibition of more than 50 works was brought to the college by French professor Michelle Bumatay. Both Michelle and Political Science professor Rachel Ellett, contributed essays to the exhibition's catalog. Additionally, Josh Moore, associate director of international education provided Wolof translation in the catalog and wall texts. Beloit College's contributors highlight the many strengths of Beloit's faculty and staff and showcase the advantages of interdisciplinary collaboration. 

Other programs in conjunction with the exhibit:

  • Monday, Sept. 17-- the Wright Museum will host Laylah Barrayn, one of the exhibiting artists. Laylah, who will speak about her work and visit classes, is a successful black female photojournalist and artist, a member of the African diaspora based in New York City. Her work speaks to questions of Islam, spirituality, women and culture in Senegal, and other parts of Africa. She is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, and her work has received grant and fellowship support from the International Women's Media Foundation, Columbia University's Institute for Research in African American Studies, and the Research Foundation of the City University of New York. She is a four-time recipient of the Community Arts Grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 25 -- a screening of Manthia Diawara's documentary Negritude: A Dialogue Between Wole Soyinka and Leopold Senghor from the exhibition, will be followed by a panel discussion led by Beloit faculty members, including Michelle Bumatay (French), Rachel Ellett (political science), David Boffa (art history) and Joe Bookman (media studies). The screening and discussion will be in the Logan Room at the Wright Museum of Art from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The exhibition is co-sponsored by the Wright Museum of Art and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. The exhibition and corresponding programing is generously supported by the George S. Parker II fund and the Weissberg Program in Human Rights and Social Justice.