Brush Art Gallery to Present ‘Inner Visions’ Exhibition
St. Lawrence University’s Richard F. Brush Art Gallery will present an exhibition, titled “Inner Visions: Sacred Plants, Art, and Spirituality,” from Oct. 24 to Dec. 10.
“Inner Visions,” curated by Colombian anthropologist and ethnobotanist Luis Eduardo Luna, highlights artwork that draws its inspiration from a wide range of sacred plants that have been used by Native American cultures over the millennia to enhance health, creativity and an understanding of the physical world. Knowledge about these plants, known for their evocative and visionary powers, has often been forgotten or suppressed due to religious persecution and a culture of prohibition that labels plants as drugs.
The exhibition gathers works of visual expression by more than a dozen indigenous, mestizo, and non-indigenous artists. Contemporary artists Alex Grey, Donna Torres and Martina Hoffmann from the United States and Europe join a diverse group of artists from Peru such as Pablo Amaringo, Anderson Debernardi and Rember Yahuarcani. Produced from the 1980s to present day, artworks in the exhibition incorporate various media, including oil, gouache, pencil, photography, sound and spoken word as well as ceramics, textiles and beadwork by Shipibo creators from the Peru’s Amazon basin in addition to Huichol artists from Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains.
The gallery will also host a lecture by Luna and Massachusetts artist Rick Harlow beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, in Griffiths Arts Center, room 123.
Luna is the author of Vegetalismo: Shamanism Among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon (1986), co-author with Pablo Amaringo of Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman (1991) and co-author along with Slawek Wojtowicz, Rick Strassman, and Ede Frecska of Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual Technologies (2008). He also co-edited with Steven F. White, Professor of Modern Languages at St. Lawrence University, Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Vine, available in a new edition from Synergetic Press.
Luna received his Ph.D. from Stockholm University in 1989 and was named Doctor of Humane Letters by St. Lawrence University in 2002. He retired from the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki in 2011. He has curated art exhibitions in Europe, Latin America and the United States and is currently the director of Wasiwaska, a research center in Brazil for the study of sacred plants, visionary art and consciousness.
Harlow lived with the Yucuna, Macuna and Tanimuca people in the Colombian Amazon, and his experiences there are the main source of his inspiration as an artist as well as his work as an environmentalist and preserver of traditional Amerindian knowledge. Harlow has taught at the Massachusetts College Art in Boston and has been a guest speaker at numerous institutions in the U.S. and around the world.
This event is taking place in collaboration with the Arts Collaborative and is being supported by the John F. O’Loughlin Leadership Series Endowment and Hovey/Brown Endowment for the Arts as well as St. Lawrence’s Department of Art and Art History.
For more information, visit the Richard F. Brush gallery online at www.stlawu.edu/gallery or call 315-229-5174.