6–7pm Opening Lecture with Tom Joyce
“Potency Conveyed with a Hammer’s Blow”
In this opening presentation, lead curator Tom Joyce reveals the skill and innovation of African blacksmiths in transforming one of Earth’s most basic natural resources into objects of utility, empowerment, and beauty. Intimately trained in the art of forging iron, Joyce illuminates the subject through a fiery lens.
Fowler members priority seating at 5:45PM
7–9pm Opening Party
Celebrate Striking Iron with African music spun by Tom Schnabel of KCRW’s Rhythm Planet. At 7:30PM enjoy an mbira ensemble led by ethnomusicologist Ric Alviso with special guest Julia Chigamba in the UCLA Arts Council Amphitheater. Afterwards try your own hand at playing the mbira, or “thumb piano,” an African instrument played with iron keys. Mix and mingle the night away with cocktails in the Davis Courtyard.
RSVP by May 25 on Eventbrite or to fowlerRSVP@arts.ucla.edu or 310-206-7001.
Parking available in UCLA Lot 4, 398 Westwood Plaza, directly off Sunset Blvd | $12/day
About the Exhibition
Striking Iron is a major international traveling exhibition that reveals the history of invention and technical sophistication that led African blacksmiths to transform one of Earth’s most basic natural resources into objects of life-changing utility, empowerment, and astonishing artistry.
Artist Unknown (Songye peoples, DRC)
Power figure, Nkisi, mid to late 19th century
Wood, iron, cowries, leather, fiber, bells, sacrificial material
H: 22.86 cm, W: 40.64 cm, D: 7.62 cm
Musée Africain de Namur
Image courtesy Musée African de Namur, Photography © by Pierre Wachholder, 2017
Provenance: Field collected by Général chevalier Josué Henry de la Lindi (1869-1957)