African art on display at Gilbert library - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

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African art on display at Gilbert library

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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 3:45 pm

In celebration of Black History Month, Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert is hosting an exhibit of West African art on loan from local genealogist Joyce Reese McCollum.

The art treasures have been collected over more than 30 years, many during visits to the African countries of Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Included in the exhibit are fetishes, bead work, vibrantly colored fabrics, hand-cast metal busts and hand-carved pieces of furniture.

McCollum’s journey as a genealogist began in 1985, after learning that both her maternal great-grandfathers were Civil War veterans of the United States Colored Troops. She was part of a 2005 delegation that traveled to Sierra Leone with the seventh great-grandchild of a 10-year-old girl who was captured in 1756 and sold into slavery in Charleston, So. Carolina.

McCollum’s cache of African art pieces will be on display through the end of February. Southeast Regional Library is at 775 N. Greenfield Road, Gilbert.

For information, call (602) 652-3000 or visit

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