June 2, 2022

Echoes of Africa Art Reception and Exhibition to Debut at the San Diego Central Library

By Office of Communications

Echoes of Africa poster

San Diego, CA. — On Saturday, June 4, 2022 at 12:00 p.m., the World Arts Council of the San Diego Mesa College Foundation and sponsored by the Friends of the Central Library, will host a reception for the Echoes of Africa art exhibition, that will run through August 20, 2022.


Echoes of Africa celebrates the material culture of Africa and the Diaspora, reconnecting historical artifacts with contemporary artistic practices. Embedded in each piece is the connection between African and African American identity which is often underrepresented in the diaspora.  This reconnection of ancestors and their descendants is captured in the pieces produced by contemporary artists coupled with African artifacts.


The exhibition celebrates classical and contemporary artistic traditions in metal, pigment, wood, ceramics, beadwork, and textiles. Local artists were invited to respond to the materials, symbolism, and creative process expressed in African art housed in the Mesa College World Cultures Art Collection. This interaction provided an opportunity for an artistic exchange resulting in artwork that echoes the creative impulse and cultural heritage embodied in African and African American art and culture.


The exhibition was curated by Dr. Denise Rogers and features work by Angie Jennings, Christopher Lloyd Tucker, Maxx Moses, Andrea Chung, and Jermaine Adeshola Williams. The reception event and exhibition is free and open to the public.


Date/Time:        Opening Reception: Saturday, June 4, 2022, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.

                           Exhibition: June 4, 2022 - August 20, 2022


Location:            Reception: 1st floor Courtyard of the Library and 9th floor Art Gallery

                            Exhibition: Central Library Art Gallery, 9th floor

                            330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101 | 619-238-6690


Visuals:              Speaking Program

                           Performance by The World Beat Center Drum and Dance group

                           1:1’s with Artists, Mesa College Foundation Curator Dr. Denise Rogers

                           Art on display in the Central Library Art Gallery


The World Cultures Art Collection

The World Cultures art collection at Mesa College was initially assembled to introduce Mesa College students to art created for use in Africa. Over the past few years, the collection has expanded to include works of art from Asia, the Americas and the Pacific regions. The collection was established in 1976 by Art Historian Dr. Barbara Blackmun, when a few pieces of African Art were gratefully accepted from generous donors. The first large donations of African Art established the nucleus of a growing collection between 1983 and 1988, which continued until Dr. Blackmun's retirement in 2010. At that time, Art Historian Dr. Denise Rogers took over managing the collection to ensure that Mesa students as well as the larger community continue to have access to this valuable resource. With the ongoing generosity of donors, the collection has continued to grow over the years and currently there are over 1,300 pieces in the collection from Africa, the Pacific Islands, MesoAmerica and the continent of Asia. 


The World Cultures Arts Council

Dr. Denise Rogers, Chair, Kathy Lamb, Secretary, Nell Clark, Treasurer

Edith Andrew-Akita, Bea Barraza, Andrea Chandler, Charlene Glacy, Zulma Heraldez, Dr. Bennetta Jules-Rosette, Jennifer Kearns, Dr. Peri Klemm, Bill Lerach, Rick Matheron, Nancy Nenow, Patrizia Richardson, Dr. Teri Sowell, Claudia Thompson, Tara Yousefi


About the San Diego Mesa College Foundation

The San Diego Mesa College Foundation is dedicated to empowering students to reach their educational goals by increasing resources, raising funds, and creating friends and partnerships to support the mission of San Diego Mesa College. Our vision is to transform lives by supporting the educational dreams of our students and the communities we serve.

Tags: Press Release