The Marguerite Weber Art Gallery at the University of Pikeville, in conjunction with the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS), is pleased to announce the exhibit “The Ritual Masks of the Michoacán.” The exhibition features a collection of 40 wooden masks from the Mask Museum of the Centro Cultural Antiguo Colegio Jesuita in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico.
According to historians, Mesoamerican cultures used masks in rituals and indigenous ceremonies. Over time, elements from indigenous and European cultures fused, producing an especially interesting syncretism in the masks. Today, the masks reveal the history, values and attitudes of the people on topics ranging from religion to politics, race and the economy.
“The artwork is visually beautiful and imaginatively evocative. There is a high level of craftsmanship. The artwork is terrific and can be appreciated on many different levels and by many different audiences,” said Pat Kowalok, professor of art. “The masks suggest stories and strong public and private traditions. They are windows into historical and modern cultural experiences and religious relationships.”
“The Ritual Masks of the Michoacán” will be featured at the gallery now through Feb. 19. A special presentation by John Howie, professor of psychology, who has taught in Mexico, will be Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 1:30 p.m. A reception will follow. The exhibit, sponsored by KIIS, the Weber Art Gallery and University of Pikeville’s Division of Humanities, is free and the campus and community are cordially invited.
The Weber Art Gallery is located in Record Memorial Building, level two. For more information or gallery hours, contact Kowalok at (606) 218-5758 or Petra Carroll, assistant professor of art, at (606) 218-5759.
This exhibition is made possible by a cultural exchange agreement between the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS) and the Ministry of Culture of Michoacán. KIIS is a non-profit consortium of colleges and universities. Since 1975, KIIS has provided international educational experiences in Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada, and Latin America for nearly 9,000 participants. KIIS currently offers 24 summer and five semester study-abroad programs in Argentina, Austria-Bregenz, Berlin, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Greece, Istanbul, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Munich, Paris, Prague, Quebec, Salzburg, Slavic Europe, Spain, and Tanzania.