What’s most interesting with my work is its quality to be easily understood by viewers.

Moses Nyanhongo

An evening with art, food, and storytelling with Zimbabwean artist, Moses Nyanhongo

Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ Committee on Art in Public Places (CAPP) in partnership with Gallery Sur invites students, staff, faculty, alumni, and the Monterey community to meet Shona stone sculptor Moses Nyanhongo from Zimbabwe for a free outdoor sculpting demonstration at the Holland Center Courtyard (442 ½ Van Buren Street) on the Middlebury Institute campus from 5-7 PM, September 26, 2019. The event will be repeated at Gallery Sur Carmel from 11-3 on Sunday, September 29. Light refreshments and Zimbabwean hospitality will be enjoyed at both locations.

In addition to the demonstration, Gallery Sur will exhibit a collection of fine art sculptures by several of the premier artists of Zimbabwe, including Moses Nyanhongo, using the multi-colored indigenous stones of their country.

The demonstration is an engaging opportunity to watch the hand carving process as Moses Nyanhongo shares both his sculpting technique and the cultural background of the world acclaimed Shona Sculpture Movement. 

MIIS was founded in 1955 (as Monterey Institute of International Studies) to promote international understanding through the study of language and culture, in pursuit of a more just and peaceful world.  The transformative effect of art speaks to the very core of the Middlebury Institute’s goal to expand the perceptions of its students and faculties, by improving intercultural competence. The Middlebury Committee on Art in Public Places invites our entire community to experience the beauty of Shona stone sculpture, an emotional expression of the unique socio-cultural identity of the Zimbabwean people, which reminds us all there is more that binds us together than separates us.

Shona sculpture is an integral part of Zimbabwean culture, and the Shona Sculpture Movement reads like a testimony of time and place as the artists sculpt a cultural and spiritual induced depiction of the ever-changing Zimbabwean society.  The superlative techniques and ancestral traditions are passed from master to student, while each artist expresses their own experience of the individual, the beauty and mystery of the natural world, and the ancestral wisdom of the interconnectedness of all life.

Born of an artistic environment free from the constraints of formal artistic rules and boundaries, the Shona Sculpture Movement has become known as the most compelling and evocative form of art to emerge from Africa in the 20th century.  Shona sculpture is featured in the world’s finest museums, including the Museum of Modern Art New York and The Rodin Museum, and in galleries and private collections worldwide.

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