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Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths Opening

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Fowler Museum at UCLA

308 Charles E Young Drive North

Los Angeles, CA 90024

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6pm: Lecture “Potency Conveyed with a Hammer’s Blow”
In this opening presentation, lead curator Tom Joyce reveals the skill and innovation of African blacksmiths in transforming one of Earth’s most basic natural resources into objects of utility, empowerment, and beauty. Intimately trained in the art of forging iron, Joyce illuminates the subject through a fiery lens.
Fowler members priority seating at 5:45PM.

7–9pm: Opening Party
Celebrate Striking Iron with African music spun by Tom Schnabel of KCRW’s Rhythm Planet. At 7:30PM enjoy an mbira ensemble led by ethnomusicologist Ric Alviso featuring special guest Julia Chigamba in the UCLA Arts Council Amphitheater. Afterwards try your own hand at playing the mbira, or “thumb piano,” an African instrument played with iron keys. Mix and mingle the night away with cocktails in the Davis Courtyard.

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About the Exhibition
Striking Iron is a major international traveling exhibition that reveals the history of invention and technical sophistication that led African blacksmiths to transform one of Earth’s most basic natural resources into objects of life-changing utility, empowerment, and astonishing artistry.

For questions email fowlerRSVP@arts.ucla.edu or call 310.206.7001

Rideshare Drop-off: 305 Royce Drive

Press Release

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Exhibition Credits
Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths is organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA. The curatorial team is led by artist Tom Joyce, a MacArthur Fellow originally trained as a blacksmith, with co-curators Allen F. Roberts, UCLA Professor of World Arts and Cultures/Dance; Marla C. Berns, Shirley & Ralph Shapiro Director, Fowler Museum; William J. Dewey, Director, African Studies Program and Associate Professor of African Art History at Pennsylvania State University; and Henry J. Drewal, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Art History and Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The exhibition is made possible by major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities* and in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Lead support is provided by the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation and The Martha and Avrum Bluming Exhibition Fund. Additional funding comes from the Ahmanson Foundation on the recommendation of the late Foundation Trustee Emeritus, Lloyd E. Cotsen, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Fowler Exhibition Fund, Cindy Miscikowski, the Ethnic Arts Council of Los Angeles, Lee Bronson, Andrew Adelson, Richard Scheller and Susan McConnell, and Richard and Susan Ulevitch.


*Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this {article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource}, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Fowler Museum at UCLA

308 Charles E Young Drive North

Los Angeles, CA 90024

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