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Exhibit highlights amazing art of Africa

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Many of us dream of going on an African safari and seeing the beauty and art of Africa first-hand. Now you can get a taste, right here at home.

It's a continent steep in history and culture, and the University of Guam is bringing art from the African continent to your front step. Isla Center for the Arts Extension associate Gi Flores said, "The title of the exhibit is named 'Tears of the Mask', and you'll see a lot of artwork from sub-Saharan Africa."

Most of the collection was donated by a very generous private collector, who said, "I'm Hauhouot Diambra-Odi and I work for the College of Natural and Applied Sciences. Dr. Diambra-Odi is originally from the Ivory Coast, but moved to Guam in 1992. He said he began collecting art after visiting an African art exhibit in Houston.

"It started with a few pieces before and then every time I travel I bring some more and by the time I knew it I had a very large collection, so I thought it was maybe a good idea to share with the island," he recalled. The pieces came from different places of Africa, most of them from the Ivory Coast, but since the Ivory Coast is sharing boarders with other countries such as Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana, across the border we have common communities and cultures.

"We also have a few from other African countries like the Congo and also from Kenya, 140 total maybe about 50 and plus if you add clothing probably about 80 pieces together," explained Dr. Diambra-Odi., adding that for him, the value is sentimental.  "I'm hoping in the future maybe to have a display room or showroom here in Guam so people can keep enjoying the beauty of African art," he said.

The exhibit will run from August 27 all the way to October 9, with the gallery hours from Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and Saturdays from 10am-2pm. The exhibit is free to the public.

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