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NMSU Museum to open two African exhibits

A reception for two new exhibits that celebrate the diversity of African lives - the result of ancient traditions blending with the modern world - will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8, in the New Mexico State University Museum lobby.


The reception will mark the opening of "The Pasternack Collection of African Art" and "Africa: From Eritrea with Love." The exhibits will show at the museum through Saturday, June 23.

The Pasternack Collection consists of art pieces collected by the late Steve Pasternack, a NMSU journalism professor for 21 years and head of the department from 1994 to 2002. The pieces were collected by Pasternack during numerous travels to Africa, while he was trying to help the continents' universities establish good journalistic practices. The pieces include masks, sculptures, baskets and various other representations of African peoples' lives and culture.

The second exhibit, "Africa: From Eritrea with Love," is a collection of 13 paintings by Betty LaDuke, an Ashland, Ore., author and artist who has traveled to East Africa numerous times. She has captured the essence of traditional aspects of Africans' lives in modern times. The artist's vibrant and colorful paintings are based on sketches made during six journeys to Eritrea, a small nation on the Horn of Africa, from 1994 to 1998.

A talk celebrating Pasternack's passion for Africa will follow the reception.

The University Museum Gallery, located in Kent Hall at the corner of University Avenue and Solano Drive, is open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free.

For more information, call the University Museum at (505) 646-3739.