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Anna Koster, public relations manager, Cantor Center for Visual Arts: (650) 725-4657,
John Sanford, News Service: (650) 736-2151,

Exhibition featuring works by José Bedia to open at Cantor Center

An exhibition that combines paintings by the Cuban-born artist José Bedia and African sculptures opens Jan. 15 at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts.

Nsila-El Camino: José Bedia and the Spirit's Path in Congo Art will feature nine works the artist created in his Miami studio in response to three sculptures from the Congo that are part of the Cantor Center's collection. (The exhibition will include all 12 pieces.)

In addition, Bedia will paint a 25-foot-long mural in the gallery on Jan 15. The following day, he will add sculptural and ritual elements to the mural. The public is invited to watch him work, as well as to meet the artist in the gallery. On Saturday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m. Bedia will discuss his work and answer questions in Spanish. He will do the same in English beginning at 3 p.m.

Sponsored by the Halperin Endowment for Programs at the Cantor Arts Center, Nsila-El Camino will be on view through April 20.

"Nsila," a Cuban term derived from the Kikongo word "nzila," may be literally translated as a path, a road or a journey. "Bedia's art will be, in part, an interpretation of the figures' journey from Africa to this museum gallery in America," according to Manuel Jordán Pérez, the Phyllis Wattis Curator of Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. "Crucial to this exercise is how the artist communicates the apparently missing spiritual essence that was once fully active and embodied in each African sculpture in the show. Bedia's project will allow the extraordinary paths of the African ancestral spirits to merge with his own and, by extension, ours."



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