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Mystic India featured in Grand Valley's Fall Arts Celebration exhibit

  • Inlaid White Marble Platter
  • Indian Musician, carved and painted wood
  • Leopard, paint on paper, ca. 2005
  • Lord Krishna and Lover Radha, paint on silk, ca. 2005
  • Inlaid White Marble Platter, ca. 2005

Posted on September 30, 2009

An outstanding art exhibition illustrating stories of India's diverse culture is next in the Fall Arts Celebration at Grand Valley State University. 

"Mystic India, Land of Color and Tradition: Folk Art, Sculpture and Miniature Paintings," opens with a reception on Wednesday, October 7, from 5-7 p.m. in the GVSU Art Gallery, located in the Performing Arts Center on the Allendale Campus. The exhibit, which will remain open through October 30, and reception are open to the public with free admission.

The exhibit draws from Grand Valley's Permanent Art Collection of traditional art by skilled Indian craftsmen. It includes an exquisite, translucent marble tray and bowl, both inlaid with colorful semi-precious stones. "They are reminiscent of the tributary work completed centuries earlier in the Taj Mahal," said Henry Matthews, Grand Valley's director of galleries and collections. "Sculptures in the exhibit include a series of wood-carved court musicians and many new pieces recently purchased by friends of Grand Valley who participated in the university's tour of India."

In addition, miniature paintings, found in the fairy tale-like region of Rajasthan, echo those once commissioned for books depicting court life in the maharajas' palaces. The tradition continues today, with renditions of elaborate gardens, hunting scenes and harems.

"This rare exhibit of fragile originals from Grand Valley's Print & Drawing Cabinet provides an opportunity to view authentic Indian art of very high quality," said Matthews. "Also, a display of folk paintings by street artists depicting the Hindu and Muslim deities of India will pay tribute to the mystic culture and traditions."

The exhibit will include more than 50 pieces and focus overall on telling the folk stories and traditions of India, through a variety of the country's art forms. The opening reception will also have some traditional music and dance to complement the exhibit.

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