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“Fertility Figure,” Burkina Faso, 15th-18th century, sandstone, collection of Keith Achepohl, Eugene, Ore.“Fertility Figure,” Burkina Faso, 15th-18th century, sandstone, collection of Keith Achepohl, Eugene, Ore.

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African stone sculpture exhibition opens March 13 at Willamette’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art

A small exhibition of African stone sculpture from the Keith Achepohl collection will open on March 13 and continue through May 23 in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art's Study Gallery. Organized by director John Olbrantz, the exhibition will feature a selection of stone sculptures from Niger, Burkina Faso, the Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Sudan.

The exhibition includes memorials to tribal ancestors and clan chiefs, cult figures used in divination rites and commonplace objects such as counting devices as well as other statues. The African sculptures span in age from upper Paleolithic hand axes (50,000-10,000 B.C.) to a 20th century Yoruba sculpture of two female figures with two sets of twins.

Keith Achepohl is an artist currently living in Eugene, Oregon. An emeritus professor of printmaking from the University of Iowa, he has collected African art for nearly 40 years. He began acquiring African masks and figures in the 1970s and graduated to African ceramics and stone sculpture in the 1980s and 1990s.

"African Stone Sculpture: Selections from the Keith Achepohl Collection" is supported in part by grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax and the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State Street (corner of State and Cottage streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are free, and Tuesday is a free day. For more information, call (503) 370-6855.

03-05-2010