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Mathers Museum Events and Exhibitions--April 23 through May 5, 2019


A Maize is Life: A Staple in South Africa
Thursday, April 25; 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Jordan Blekking, an IU doctoral student in the Department of Geography, notes “maize is the most important crop in Southern Africa, both in terms of agricultural productivity and food security.” He’ll present a discussion on how maize has grown in importance across the region over the past century, primarily as a result of pro-maize policies that promote the crop above all others, but may create more adverse food security effects, and even hunger. The talk will be free and open to the public. 


Indiana Heritage Fellowships Awards Celebration
Saturday, April 27; 1 to 4:30 p.m. (Awards ceremony, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.)
Demonstrations and performances by traditional artists from Indiana will fill the Mathers Museum’s halls as we celebrate the inaugural Indiana Heritage Fellowship awards. The fellowships recognize traditional artists who make outstanding contributions to their artistic tradition and to their community. This year, Debra Bolaños (left image above), a ballet folklórico dancer and instructor in East Chicago, Indiana, and Harold Klosterkemper (right image above), a fiddle player from Decatur County, Indiana, will be honored for their lifetime achievement as Indiana traditional artists.


Among the demonstrators will be master artists and apprentices from the Traditional Arts Indiana Apprenticeship Program. The program supports the continuation of cultural practices in Indiana communities by funding up to six apprenticeship pairs each year, enabling apprentices to learn essential knowledge and skills in traditional art forms from master artists. Celebration highlights will include performances by  Ballet Folklórico of East Chicago, Indiana, and bluegrass music performers. Demonstrations will include blacksmithing, Miami and Great Lake beadwork embroidery, hoopnet making, and African drum making. The event will be free and open to the public.


Artist in Residence--Marcos Bautista (Weaver)
Saturday, April 27; Sunday, April 28
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Marcos Bautista is from Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico, a community known for its Zapotec weaving. He grew up helping his family in their weaving business, often operating the standing loom. Marcos’ art combines his innovative designs with Zapotec patterns and techniques. He moved to Indiana after he married, and he continues to sell his textiles at art and craft fairs around the state. He remains close to his family in Oaxaca, often sending them new patterns of his own design and helping to sell his family’s creations. Bautista will be an artist in residence at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, demonstrating his art and discussing his work with visitors. The free demonstrations are presented in conjunction with Mexico Remixed, a program of IU’s Arts and Humanities Council.


Family Craft Day: Huichol Yarn Painting and Otomi Paper Cuts
Sunday, April 28; 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Celebrate Mexico Remixed, a program of IU's Arts and Humanities Council, with free and fun family crafts inspired by traditional crafts from Mexico.




Echoes of the Rainforest: The Visual Arts of the Shipibo Indians

"Echoes of the Rainforest: The Visual Arts of the Shipibo Indians," features ceramics, textiles, and other works created by people living in the Amazon rainforest of Peru. The artifacts were collected by Frédéric and Bernadette Allamel, who worked with Frédéric's high school students at the International School of Indiana (in Indianapolis) to develop and design the exhibit. The exhibit will be open through December 22, 2019.


Hungry Planet: What the World Eats

A new exhibit exploring community and food—“Hungry Planet: What the World Eats”—is on exhibit at IU’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures. The traveling exhibit is based on the best-selling book by photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio, who sat down to dinner with 30 families in 24 different countries to document their meals and lives around food. The exhibit features stories, grocery lists, and photos of each family surrounded by a week's worth of groceries, and gives visitors snapshots to compare these families with their own. "Hungry Planet: What the World Eats” will be open to the public through May 1. Admission to the museum is free, but the museum is encouraging visitors to bring canned goods to the exhibit for donation to the Community Kitchen of Monroe County. The exhibit is toured by COSI, the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio.


México Indígena

The Mathers Museum of World Cultures will present “México Indígena,” an exhibit highlighting a few of the artistic traditions and innovations practiced by some of Mexico’s indigenous peoples, including the Isthmus Zapotec of Juchitán, Oaxaca; the Wixáritari (Huichol) who live in the Sierra Madres; the Otomi people from the Altiplano region; and the Purépecha (Tarascan) people of Michoacán. The exhibit is sponsored by Mexico Remixed, a program of IU’s Arts and Humanities Council, will be on display through January 26, 2020.


Picturing Change, Seeing Continuity: Hmong Story Cloths

“Picturing Change, Seeing Continuity: Hmong Story Cloths” presents textiles created by Hmong Americans, a people of Southeast Asian heritage who largely came to the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s as refugees, following the wake of the Vietnam War. Before coming to the U.S., some Hmong people lived in refugee camps in Thailand. Developed in these camps, story cloths use older textile decoration techniques in a new way to produce works of fabric art that non-Hmong could buy and that would help convey Hmong experiences to them. Those stories were somtimes old tales of the Hmong people, but artists also used these textiles to help viewers understand Hmong customs and the difficult histories that Hmong refugees endured. “Picturing Change, Seeing Continuity: Hmong Story Cloths,” will be on display through July 26, 2019.


Sacred Drums, Sacred Trees: Haiti’s Changing Climate

“Sacred Drums, Sacred Trees: Haiti’s Changing Climate,” curated by Rebecca Dirksen, Assistant Professor in IU's Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, explores how humanity, the divine, and the environment intersect through the sacred Vodou drums and the trees from which they are made. The exhibit will be on display through December 22, 2019.


Thoughts, Things, and Theories...What Is Culture?

"Thoughts, Things, and Theories...What Is Culture?" explores the nature of culture. The exhibit will be ongoing.


Through the Eyes of Durdy Bayramov: Turkmen Village Life, 1960 – 80s

Durdy Bayramov (1938-2014) grew up in an orphanage in Turkmenistan and overcame the significant challenges of his youth to become an acclaimed Eurasian artist. Through a prolific career as a painter that spanned more than 55 years, Bayramov was best known for his compelling portraits. His tender approach evokes the special character and qualities within each of his subjects, with whom he shared a deep rapport. This exhibit features photographs selected from Durdy Bayramov’s personal archive. Although he took great pleasure in photography, Bayramov used it primarily as a tool in his artistic process and never expected that others would find them fascinating in their own right. The images provide a rare and intimate glimpse into the customs and material culture of Turkmen villagers during this period, and at the same time reflect the profound human spirit shared by all communities. The exhibit will close July 26, 2019




The Mathers Museum of World Cultures Store offers a wide range of merchandise, including toys and games, books, masks, figurines, pottery, and jewelry from the four corners of the globe. All items featured in the Mathers Museum Store reflect the diversity of cultures found in the rest of the museum. Come find out-of-the-ordinary gifts for friends and family, or to treat yourself to unique items with an international flair. All proceeds from the Mathers Museum Store support a variety of museum activities.


The Mathers Museum of World Cultures Exhibition Hall and Museum Store are open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Admission to museum exhibits and programs is free.


Free and accessible visitor parking is available by the Indiana Avenue lobby entrance. Metered parking is available at the McCalla School parking lot on the corner of Ninth Street and Indiana Avenue. The parking lot also has spaces designated for Indiana University EM-P, EM-S, and ST permits. During the weekends free parking is available on the surrounding streets.


An access ramp is available at the southwest corner of North Fess Avenue and Ninth Street, at the entrance to the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology. If you have a disability and need assistance, arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Please call 812-855-6873 for directions and assistance.