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August 31, 2023

SVSU exhibition explores artists’ ideas about African experience

Opening reception to be held September 7

Photo of African-style mask and abstract painting

Saginaw Valley State University's University Art Gallery is showcasing two artists whose works explore the African diaspora. An opening reception will be held Thursday, September 7, and the exhibit will remain on display through Saturday, September 16.

Gretchen Beck’s “Habu Nya Dumi Dumi” is a series of mixed-media collage paintings that reflect her experiences among the Niger people and culture, which she came to appreciate while living in that country. A professional artist who exhibits nationally and internationally, Beck previously served as chair of the Art Department and as professor of art at Concordia University in Irvine, California. She is based in Naperville, Illinois.

In this exhibit, Beck’s collages are interspersed with masks and sculptural works by Saginaw artist Lark Allen III. His art focuses on the populations of the African diaspora, using repurposed and refabricated items as well as items found in nature.

Allen earned a Master of Fine Art degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art and also studied at Clark Atlanta University and Georgia Perimeter College.

The public is invited to attend the September 7 reception from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. in the University Art Gallery in the Arbury Fine Arts Center at Saginaw Valley State University. Light refreshments will be served. There is no charge to attend the reception or visit the gallery.

Regular gallery hours are Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays until 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact the University Art Gallery at 989-964-2291.