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Kathy Beazley
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Organizers for the internationally-acclaimed ZimSculpt exhibit currently showing at The Fort Worth Botanic Garden have announced a special celebration in honor of Africa Day, set for Thurs., May 25 through Mon., May 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. 

Set against the backdrop of the limited engagement ZimSculpt show, which features more than 100 stunning works created by contemporary Zimbabwean artists, the Africa Day celebration will offer complimentary light African refreshments including peanuts and mopane worms (staple part of the diet in rural areas and are considered a delicacy in the cities); Mbira music (traditional to the Shona people of Zimbabwe) on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Friday from 1 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; short curator talks at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; and on-site demonstrations by Zimbabwean sculptors: Brighton Layson (a former machinist fitter-turned-artist whose works have been exhibited around the world), and Passmore Mupindiko (a long-running ZimSculpt artist-in-residence noted for his distinctive leaf bowls [birdbaths], who began his career as a teenager selling wood carvings to support his family). 

Admission to the ZimSculpt exhibit is included in the Garden’s general price of admission. All visitors who mention “Africa Day” on May 25-29 will receive a 20% discount. Additionally, the first 20 visitors to the ZimSculpt exhibit will receive a souvenir giveaway. 

Formerly known as African Freedom Day, Africa Day commemorates the creation of the African Union (AU), and is celebrated across the African continent and in countries throughout the African diaspora. 

The 2023 Africa Day celebration is particularly significant, as it recognizes the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Charter for the Organization of African Unity that called for greater unity among African nations and their liberation from colonialism and apartheid. 

Said ZimSculpt founder Vivienne Prince: “We hope that Fort Worth-Dallas residents will take advantage of this opportunity to visit ZimSculpt and learn more about the vibrant traditions, artistry, and cultures of Africa. Many of our beautiful Zimbabwean sculptures are inspired by themes of unity, freedom, and hope that are central to the ideas embodied in Africa Day; these works will be especially meaningful to us on May 25.” 

About ZimSculpt:

This is the first year for the Garden to host the renowned ZimSculpt exhibit, which features more than 100 exquisite sculptures by several dozen multi-regional Zimbabwean artists.  Known as Shona sculpture, these contemporary pieces are carved from various types of serpentine and semi-precious stone, often weighing tons, and can be as large as seven feet tall.  This is the most collected form of African art; it can be found at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Rodin Museum; and in the homes of luminaries such as the Prince of Wales, the Rockefellers, Morgan Freeman, and Danny Glover. 

ZimSculpt is an exclusive exhibit from southeastern Africa that is appearing exclusively at the Garden for a limited engagement (through July 30); the collection is not showcased in any galleries in the United States. As part of the exhibit, *artists-in-residence (see details on page one) will demonstrate their artistry by carving statues using chisels, hammers, files and sandpaper, creating beautiful works while guests watch and learn about the art.

Visitors may purchase any of the sculptures on display in the Garden as well as the ones created by the onsite artists. Also available to the public is the ZimSculpt Marketplace, a large tent located in the parking lot in front of the Japanese Garden. The Marketplace will be open to guests seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., offering hand-held to medium-size sculptures.  Commissioned pieces may be ordered and made onsite by the artists.   

This limited engagement sculpture event is included in the price of Garden admission. Members receive free entry. Shuttle bus service is available from the Garden parking lot to the Japanese garden. For more information, visit fwbg.org/zimsculpt.   

 

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