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CFAC hosts exhibitions focusing on Gullah life, culture and slave imagery in Confederate currency
CFAC hosts exhibitions focusing on Gullah life, culture and slave imagery in Confederate currencyNovember 16, 2007SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
The Community Folk Art Center has two exhibitions on view through Dec. 15: “Gullah Lifestyles: A Culture Under Attack — Paintings by John W. Jones and Leroy Campbell” and “Confederate Currency: The Color of Money — Paintings by John W. Jones.”
Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The artwork in “Gullah Lifestyles: A Culture Under Attack” focuses on the culture of the Gullah people of the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. Gullahs are descendants of enslaved West Africans who were brought to America beginning in the late 1600s. In part due to the remoteness of their communities, Gullah people today still maintain a unique culture rooted in African traditions. However, various factors threaten Gullah communities, including developers seeking land to build sprawling housing tracts, along with younger generations leaving ancestral Gullah lands for college and not returning.
The paintings in “Confederate Currency: The Color of Money” are based on images of slavery that once were depicted on Confederate currency. Jones transforms the propaganda portrayed in the original black and white bank note engravings into vibrantly colored scenes that confront the realities of an unjust institution and bring the subjects to life. He presents the subjects as they appear on the original currency, not changing the original compositions, which often depicted slaves smiling or with indifferent expressions as they worked.
For more information about the exhibitions, call the Community Folk Art Center at 442-2230. The Community Folk Art Center is a program of the Department of African American Studies in The College of Arts and Sciences. The “Gullah Lifestyles: A Culture Under Attack” and “Confederate Currency: The Color of Money” exhibitions are funded in part by a grant from the Gifford Foundation.