Amazonian Art Exhibit Opens at Pitzer College

2013_10_07_Amazonian-Art-Exhibit[1]Claremont, Calif. (October 7, 2013) — Pitzer College presents a unique exhibit of artwork from the Brazilian Amazon. Cattle in the Amazon: Despised Invaders to Prized Possessions? features paintings by indigenous artist Jaider Esbell and other Amazonian artists that touch on themes surrounding nature, sustainability and development. The exhibit opens on Thursday, October 10 in the Barbara Hinshaw Memorial Gallery and the McConnell Living Room at Pitzer College.

Esbell’s paintings explore the cosmologies and historical experiences of the Macuxi Indians. His work illuminates how the introduction of cattle in the Macuxi territory affected the environment and the ways that Macuxi Indians have understood and responded to both the cattle and the ranchers.

Esbell lives in the state of Roraima in the northern Brazilian Amazon. He is spending a semester at Pitzer as a visiting artist/professor. A geographer as well as an artist, Esbell uses different forms of visual means to synthesize elements of Macuxi cosmology, history and natural world.

The exhibition takes place in conjunction with the anthropology course, Run to the Forest, co-taught by Associate Professor of Anthropology Leda Martins and Esbell. Curated by Jean M. Pitzer Professor of Anthropology and Professor of History Daniel Segal, Cattle in the Amazon runs from October 10 – November 27, 2013 at both the Grove House and the McConnell Living Room.

The exhibition is funded by art+environment—an interdisciplinary program at Pitzer College funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation—the Pitzer College Art Galleries, Pitzer’s Office of Study Abroad and International Programs, and the College’s Institute for Global/Local Action & Research.

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The Pitzer College Art Galleries’ mandate is Education and Advocacy through the Pitzer College core values—social responsibility, intercultural understanding, interdisciplinary learning, student engagement, and environmental sustainability. By following these precepts, Pitzer College Art Galleries engage and interrogate contemporary and historical issues of importance to expand our audiences’ understanding and contribution to our artistic, intellectual, and social culture. Through curatorial creativity and innovative programming, the Galleries seek to provide context, support, and a critical framework for artists and curators working today and, by doing so, inspire meaningful dialogue that fascinates, excites, and invigorates.

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