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South African Lecturer Shares Art Knowledge with UMES

  • Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    PRINCESS ANNE (Sept. 21, 2010) - South African artist Dr. Nombeko Mpako will host a discussion on "Contemporary African Arts and Crafts" on Wed., Sept. 22, in the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m.

    Mpako is currently a senior lecturer with the Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology at the prestigious University of South Africa. 

    "Every line tells a story," said Mpako, who presented a slideshow to University of Maryland Eastern Shore students enrolled in "ARTS 101: Exploration of the Visual Arts" this week. "The artist has deliberately chosen to use that line to communicate a story. It's not by accident."

    In honor of Mpako's campus visit this month, the Department of Fine Arts is hosting a mini exhibition entitled "Reflections on African Diversity," which will be on display at the Frederick Douglass Library until Sept. 30. The exhibit features selected works from art instructor Christopher Harrington's collection. 

    "Art, especially for the African people, from the beginning of mankind, has always been used to fulfill various social meanings and functions," Mpako said.

    Mpako's teaching career began as a tutor at a South African adult education center in 1984.  Over the years, she has taught at both the undergraduate and post-graduate levels and completed research projects that focus on art as it relates to African customs, traditions and rituals.

    "Look at the detail in this cake," said Mpako, using a laser pointer to highlight the design in a painting. "You can actually feel like you want to munch that cake."

    Upcoming Presentations by Dr. Mpako:

    • ARTS 213: History of American Craft, Tues., Sept. 21, Room 003, ATC, 5-6:15 p.m. (open to the UMES campus community)
    • ARTS 201: Design I, Thurs., Sept. 23, Room 1104, ATC, 4-5:50 p.m. (open to the UMES campus community)

    For more information call 410-651-6488.


    Candice Evans, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-6669,

    Bill Robinson, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355,