Tyler Art Gallery displays 'Vodou and Carnaval' photographs

carnaval image“Vodou and Carnaval: Haitian Images by Phyllis Galembo” currently showcases the customs and culture of the Caribbean country in a colorful exhibition in Tyler Art Gallery.

Galembo, professor of photography in the fine arts department at SUNY Albany since 1978, has traveled extensively to Haiti, Africa and South America. Her color photographs complement the Oswego Reading Initiative’s 2006 campus selection “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder. The exhibition will run through Monday, Oct. 9.

In the 46 photographs, Galembo aims to show the spirituality and life of the Haitian people, with images of Carnaval and Vodou as well as those taken from annual pilgrimage trips to Sodo.

Galembo describes one of these trips: “Diviners line the base of the waterfall. . . . The pilgrims light candles before beginning the trek up and down the rocky terrain of the waterfall. I, too, immersed myself in the cold water in order to reach the heart of the waterfall, the basin. There, in close proximity to the Vodou faithful, I pointed my camera in the beating water, photographing blindly and never sure what would be captured on film. To my amazement and joy, when the film was processed, I saw the spirit reveal itself in amazing ways.”

Galembo’s book “Vodou: Visions and Voices of Haiti” will be available at the exhibition. Other publications by the artist include “Dressed for Thrills: 100 years of Halloween Costumes and Masquerade” and “Divine Inspiration from Benin to Bahia.”

Galembo received a Fulbright Scholar Senior Research Award to Nigeria and has also received grants from the New York Council for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work is included in public and private collections including Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Polaroid Corp. In connection with her work and exhibitions, Galembo has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio and NBC’s “Today” show.

The exhibition and artist’s visit are sponsored by the Student Association art exhibition committee, Auxiliary Services and Artswego.

Visitors with disabilities, needing assistance to attend gallery events, may contact Tyler Art Gallery at 312-2113 in advance.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. weekends. Exhibitions and events at Tyler Art Gallery are free and open to the public.

For more information on Galembo’s photos, visit www.phyllisgalembo.com.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Colorful Carnavale—SUNY Oswego’s Tyler Art Gallery will host “Vodou and Carnaval: Haitian Images by Phyllis Galembo” from Friday, Sept. 8, to Monday, Oct. 9. The exhibition features images from Haiti by Galembo, professor of photography in the fine arts department at SUNY Albany. She will discuss her images at 5 p.m. Sept. 8 in Tyler Hall. For more information, contact Tyler Art Gallery at 312-2113.

(Posted: Aug 18, 2006)