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Afro-Brazilian Art, Culture On Display in Exhibit at Peake Gallery

The Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture will present Dreams and Revelations: Afro-Brazilian Art and Identities, an exhibit of works by artist Paulo P. Lima, in Channing Peake Gallery, in the county Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St.

An opening reception for the artist is scheduled 5-7 p.m. Feb. 1 during the 1st Thursday art walk. The exhibit — on now until March 15 — celebrates African culture and runs concurrently with Black History Month.

The photographs and dressed figures on display in the exhibit express diverse representations of Afro-Brazilian culture, the Office of Arts and Culture said.

The photos, taken primarily in São Paulo and Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, stemmed from Lima’s dissertation on Afro-Brazilian dress and costumes worn by practitioners of Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion developed in Brazil in the early 18th century.

The pictures illustrate the importance of Candomblé religious dress for the various celebrations of faith within the religion and its influence on fashion and secular performance, the Office of Arts and Culture said.

Lima said he aimed to “register a multitude of identities, unfinished and historically specific, that could tell a story.”

This exhibit also includes recent photographs of his Santos. The dressed figures in Dreams and Revelations: Afro-Brazilian Art and Identities are contemporary interpretations of Santos de Roca or Santos de Vestir.

Lima said he was inspired by the Brazilian Baroque tradition of dressing articulated religious figures of saints, which was prevalent in the 18th and 19th centuries and in many places today.

Santos are lavishly dressed to be carried in processions and displayed.

The figures demonstrate Lima’s interest in dressing vintage reproductions with handcrafted felts and hand-dyed silks, as well as everyday materials such as paper, dried leaves, leather, wool, found jewelry, and plastic.

Visions of Hope directors Phillip and Lillian Pipersburg will be at the reception to share scheduled programming for Black History Month.

The exhibit was produced in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture and the County of Santa Barbara Community Services Department.      

For more information on the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture, visit www.sbac.ca.gov.

— Julia Rutherford Daly for the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.


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