AFRICA! Exhibit and Cultural Events in Decatur

May 15, 2018

The Decatur Area Arts Council is presenting the annual International Arts Experience featuring an exhibit entitled AFRICA! from June 1-July 26 in the Anne Lloyd Gallery at the Madden Arts Center, 125 N. Water Street in downtown Decatur. The exhibit includes a wide array of authentic African art including paintings, masks, sculptures, baskets, textiles and clothing, musical instruments and more, as well as unique artifacts. These tell a story about the extreme diversity, cultural traditions and many influences throughout the continent.

The exhibit will also feature colorful paintings by Ibiyinka Alao, Nigeria’s Ambassador of Art, whose works have received worldwide recognition. Additional items are on loan from private collectors in the area as well as the Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois and the Giertz Education Center at Krannert Art Museum.

An opening cultural event on Friday evening, June 1 from 5:00-7:30 pm celebrates the richness of African arts – a “don’t miss” opportunity for the entire family! There will be authentic African guest performances and audience participation throughout the evening, including:

On 3rd floor -

  • Afriky Lolo, nationally-acclaimed West African dance, drums and costumes
  • 6 pm presentation by Ibiyinka Alao, Nigerian Ambassador of Art
  • Storytelling performance of “Ibi’s Fireflies” through dance drama
  • A taste of authentic African cuisine by Chef Nick, Bizou

In 2nd floor Barnett Art Studio–

  • African-inspired art-making for all ages: weaving, masks, Ndebele huts and figures

Field trips which include a discussion of the exhibit and a hands-on African art project can be arranged for youth or adult groups. Decatur Rotary Club #180 has provided scholarships to help cover costs of field trips.

Thanks to generous contributors, the exhibit and cultural event are open free to the public. This program is being sponsored by Ameren Illinois with additional funding by private contributors. It is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 8:30-4:30 and Saturdays 10-2. For further information or to request field trips, please contact the Decatur Area Arts Council, 217-423-3189,


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