Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-08-09

Samford University Art Gallery will host a Celebration of Latin American Art Aug. 20-Sept. 27.

The exhibit features art, photographs, clothing, jewelry, oil paintings, hand-woven basketry and other artifacts from Latin American cultures. More than 300 items represent life in the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Central America and South America.

Pieces range from a colorfully painted Cuban cigar box, to an antique wooden "poor box" from a church in Ecuador, to a stylish Panama hat complete with carrying case.

"The collection offers an interesting glimpse into the cultures of people who live south of the U.S.," noted gallery director Robin Snyder, adding that some of the tapestries are made to tell a story.

One such piece from Chile is a social commentary on the late General Augusto Pinochet's regime. Pinochet was president of Chile from 1974-1990.

The show is presented in conjunction with the Samford Department of World Languages and Cultures, Bare Hands Gallery and Sojourns Fair Trade store. Some items are for sale.

Gallery hours are weekdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call (205) 726-2840.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.