Ethnographer to discuss old, new traditions

Arturo Lindsay, an artist-scholar who conducts ethnographic research on African spiritual and aesthetic retention in contemporary Latin American cultures, discusses Preserving the Old While Creating New Traditions at Bates Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. in Chase Hall Lounge. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

An associate professor of art and art history at Spelman College, Lindsay’s research findings are manifested in works of art, as well as scholarly essays, lectures and articles. According to Lindsay, his work “uncovers information people use to order their lives and construct their cultures,” and is represented in important private and public collections both nationwide and abroad. Lindsay has exhibited in major solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Panama, Mexico, Germany and Italy.

In 1994, Lindsay received a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest International Artist Award to establish a studio in Portobelo, a 16th-century Spanish colonial village in Panama. This residency resulted in his major solo exhibition, Canto a la libertad de Africa a America at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo in Panama. The exhibit expanded and traveled throughout the United States between 1996 and 1998.

Most recently, Lindsay has participated in a number of other traveling exhibits including Ceremony and Spirit: Nature and Memory in Contemporary Latino Art, organized by the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, and Art in Atlanta, organized by the Artists-In-Residence International. His work also appeared in ES97 Tijuana, a major exhibition of Latin American art organized by the Centro Cultural Tijuana.

As a scholar, Lindsay has lectured and published several essays on New World African religious, spiritual and aesthetic retentions. The editor of Santer’a Aesthetics in Contemporary Latin American Art, published by the Smithsonian Press in 1996, he won the 1997 Spelman College Presidential Award for Scholarship. In 1998, he received the Fulbright Scholar award to conduct research on the manifestations of black Christ figures in the Americas and to work with emerging self-taught artists of the village of Portobelo.

Lindsay maintains studios in Atlanta and Portobelo. A native of Colon, a seaport city on the Caribbean coast of the Republic of Panama, he immigrated at age 13 to New York City with his parents. He received his doctor of arts degree from New York University, a master of fine arts degree in painting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and theater from Central Connecticut State University.

His lecture is sponsored by the Multicultural Center.

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