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Celebrating Our Common Heritage in the African Diaspora

From the James E. Lewis Museum of Art
For Immediate Release, January 13, 2015

The James E. Lewis Museum of Art is pleased to present an exhibition entitled “Celebrating Our Common Heritage in the African Diaspora – Featuring the Art of Januwa Moja and Uzikee Nelson”.  This exhibition will feature works by artist couple: Januwa Moja, wearable art designer and fashion icon, and her husband, globally renowned sculptor Uzikee Nelson.  

The celebration will open on Sunday February 8th 2015, during Black History Month, and continue through Thursday April 16th 2015. The exhibition features a variety of expressions initiated through vibrant and artistic cultural exchange denoting the artist’s travels in the African Diaspora.  Programming includes an Afro-Cuban film festival, lecture referencing a fascinating story of escape to freedom, a panel discussion honoring Women’s History Month, culminating with a Family Fun Day Festival.

Ms. Moja, a Baltimore native and graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, is a cultural ambassador who connects African cultures through visual and wearable art, performance art and design.  Uzikee’s life size sculptures use African aesthetic to celebrate the beauty of women in the diaspora, as well as to celebrate our heroes like Paul Robeson, Thurgood Marshall, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey and others.  The artists have coined the experience as a “living exhibition that will provide a retrospection of the social conscious art created during our 36 year marriage and half a century of activism”.  

This celebration of common heritage will look at people of color and their contributions and inspiration to the African American experience. This two and one-half month calendar of activities looks to inspire future cultural events to sustain and honor all cultural relationships in the Maryland and surrounding areas.

Januwa Moja, Uzikee Nelson and Dr. Diala Toure, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, will be available for interviews. 

Please contact Laura Brown, Office Assistant, at laura.brown@morgan.edu or (443) 885- 3030/3440, for more information.

Schedule of Events:

Sunday, Feb. 8th – Opening Reception and Artist Talk
4:00 PM – 6:30 PM
James E. Lewis Museum of Art

Thursday, Feb 19th – Uzikee Nelson
“ESCAPING THROUGH THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: THE LEGACY OF FRANK WANZER” The artist will narrate the escape from slavery of his great great-grandfather.
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM    (Brown Bag)
James E. Lewis Museum of Art– Murphy Fine Arts Center

Saturday, Feb 28th – Afro Cuban Film Festival
Moderator: TBD
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Suggested donation $5

Film Titles:
AFRO-CUBA: YESTERDAY AND TODAY, 2008
WHEN THE SPIRIT DANCE MAMBO, 2002
WITH OR WITHOUT FIDEL: WILL THE REVOLUTION SURVIVE AFTER CASTRO
James E. Lewis Museum of Art– Murphy Fine Arts Center

Thursday, March 12th – Women’s Convocation Panel
“Women in the Diaspora”: A Cultural Perspective
Moderator: Marta Pola
Panelist:
Januwa Moja, Caridad Nussa-Morales, Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, Navasha Daya, Dr. Diana N’Diaye
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Turpin Lamb Theatre – Murphy Fine Arts Center

Saturday, April 11th – Family Fun Day Festival
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
(Families and individuals will view the exhibit and participate in fun activities such as:  Art of Adornment, Mask Making, Children’s Theatre, Spoken Word and more…)
James E. Lewis Museum – Murphy Fine Arts Center

Januwa Moja, Uzikee Nelson and Dr. Diala Toure, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, will be available for interviews. Please contact Laura Brown, Office Assistant, at laura.brown@morgan.edu or (443) 885- 3030/3440, for more information. 

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