January 9, 2008 — The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection reopens Jan. 15 with a special exhibit, "Our Way: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Lockhart River." A free reception, open to the public, will be held Friday, Jan. 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
"Our Way" is a survey of the work of the Lockhart River Art Gang and celebrates the remarkable story of this young group of artists from a remote community in Queensland's Cape York. Rosella Namok, Samantha Hobson and Fiona Omeenyo spearheaded the movement with spectacular and diverse insights into country, culture and history. The Art Gang's work is a contemporary response to the environment, culture and traditions of this isolated Aboriginal community. It expresses some of the realities of being Aboriginal and the strong influences of traditional culture and values in their world. The artists have developed forms of expression that are very different from the art of central Australia and other parts of Australia. The exhibition features prints from the Art Gang’s early years, along with major paintings.
"Our Way" was curated by Sally Butler, a lecturer in art history at the University of Queensland, who authored a book of the same title. Butler will give a talk, "The New Generation of Aboriginal Culture in Lockhart River Art," on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.
Butler will guide a tour of the exhibit on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 10:30 a.m.
The museum is also offering a "Tucker Box Tour," a guided tour of current exhibits followed by lunch in the gallery. The event will be held Wednesday, Jan. 23 from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. Attendees may bring their own lunch or order one, provided by Brix, for $8. Either way, reservations are required; call (434) 244-0234.
The exhibition was made possible through U.Va.'s participation in Universitas 21, an international network of 20 leading research-intensive universities in eleven countries. 'Our Way' is sponsored by the University of Queensland, also a Universitas 21 member, and supported by the Queensland
Government and U.Va's President John T. Casteen III. Prior to the exhibition at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, 'Our Way' was shown at a third U21 member institution, the National University of Singapore and also at Stony Brook University in New York.
All programs are held at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection, 400 Worrell Drive, off U.S. 250 East at Pantops. Turn right at the light into Worrell Drive. Take the next right and continue straight up the drive to the white brick house with the circular drive. The Kluge-Ruhe Collection is on the first floor. All programs are free unless indicated.