In the Gallery: Shona Sculpture

Neil Turner

One of the volunteer activities in which I take pride is to serve on the board of The Friends of Quiet Waters Park - an organization that supports activities at a local county park here in Annapolis. The park has a number of sculptures as well as ongoing exhibitions in the art galleries.

On permanent display in our galleries are Shona sculptures donated by Mr. Ben Bernstein of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The pieces - by Fanizani, Chaurika, and Josia - are significant as they represent works by first and second descendant Shona sculptors.

Shona sculpture comes from a region of Zimbabwe, Africa that includes hundreds of artists who work in native stone. The serpentine stone - generally very heavy and sometimes soft - is waxed and polished to a beautiful finish. The artists often use traditional themes of nature and draw inspiration from the spirits that emanate from the stones themselves.

The Friends website is featured this week if you have interest in viewing the other sculpture in the park as well as read about the other activities supported by the group.
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Harvard Square Commentary, September 25, 2006