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Release: Immediate

Non-human spirits will be the subject of African art exhibition at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will exhibit "Ancestors, Djinns, and Orisha: Spirit Beings in Africa" from Jan. 17 to April 26 in the Stanley I Gallery of the museum. The exhibition will include approximately 50 objects that represent the artistic portrayal of non-human spirits in Africa.

Chris Roy, a faculty member in the UI School of Art and Art History, will talk about the exhibition at 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 11 as part of the museum's "Perspectives" series.

Both the exhibition and the "Perspectives" lecture will be open to the public free of charge.

Among the items displayed will be objects from the museum's permanent collection as well as objects on loan from local collectors.

Representation of spirits in African culture often takes the form of masks, many of which will be included in the exhibition. Dramatic figures, tools for communicating with spirits, jewelry and other objects worn by priests -- all part of the interaction of human beings with spirits from other worlds -- will also be on display.

The objects will be exhibited according to theme, with separate sections relating to spirits that serve political and personal functions. There will also be examples of images borrowed from other parts of the world. The overall theme of the exhibition is indirectly tied to the museum's upcoming exhibition of "Victorian Fairy Painting."

Vicki Rovine, the museum's curator of Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, said, "The idea of communication and communion with other worlds is clearly illustrated by these objects, as it is in the 'Fairies' exhibition."

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive, and adjacent to the UI Alumni Center, which is just north of the museum.