IROKO, Tree of Life- April 22 – Jul 15

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Installation by IMNA ARROYO

A multidisciplinary visual art installation by Imna Arroyo .  IROKO is a dialogue that addresses the intersection between spirituality and environmental consciousnesses.  The exhibit features, IROKO Tree of Life, the art film by Imna Arroyo, Tao Chen and Jaime Gomez

Project opening  on April 22, 2016 detail

THE IROKO FILM. Image from Iroko Tree of Life, film produced and directed by Imna Arroyo, Tao Chen and Jaime Gomez editing and special effects by Tao Chen. Featuring traditional Yoruba Orisha songs singers by Amma McKen, Denise Ola DeJean and Swahili Henry with dance performance by Sinque Tavares and choreographer Alycia Bright-Holland. In addition to photos, graphics and video footage by Imna Arroyo, Jaime Gomez and Tao
Chen.

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IROKO is inspired by the sacred Tree of Life, known as Iroko to the Yoruba people of West Africa and those of the African Diaspora, Yaxché to the Maya, Kapok in Southeast Asia, Silk- Cotton Tree to Indigenous North Americans, and La Ceiba in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The tree is of great symbolic, spiritual, mythological, medicinal, magical, commercial, ecological and aesthetic import. Through the exploration of materials old and new, traditional and innovative technologies this multi-media installation focuses on the mysteries of nature using the Iroko/ Yaxché/ Kapok/ La Ceiba / Silk-Cotton Tree as an anchor to express the power of nature, its continuity and resiliency which hold the promise for a sustainable future if nurtured and honored.

ABOVE:  IROKO, Home of the Gods installation by Imna Arroyo, detail, ceramic with encaustic. Obbatala, Lord of the white cloth. Creator and father of humanity.Represents peace, purity, and intellect. On view at MS17 Art Project as part of the IROKO exhibition on view through July 15. Photo credit: A. Vincent Scarano (ceramic works by Imna Arroyo available).

THE IROKO FILM. Image from Iroko Tree of Life, film produced and directed by Imna Arroyo, Tao Chen and Jaime Gomez editing and special effects by Tao Chen. Featuring traditional Yoruba Orisha songs singers by Amma McKen, Denise Ola DeJean and Swahili Henry with dance performance by Sinque Tavares and choreographer Alycia Bright-Holland. In addition to photos, graphics and video footage by Imna Arroyo, Jaime Gomez and Tao
Chen.

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IROKO BOOK:  Humberto Figueroa from Puerto Rico and Migdalia Salas of MS17 Art Project Gallery are the curators of the traveling exhibition. Art installations are by Imna Arroyo and include drawings on Amate paper, etchings, relief sculptural prints created with handmade paper and encaustic, reed fiber woven sculptures with th e multimedia video. The video was created in collaboration with graphic and digital media artist, Tao Chen, and video producer, Jaime Gomez. The video includes visuals of Indigenous people from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta of Colombia by Jaime Gomez and videographer Julio Charris as well as traditional Yoruba Orisha songs sung by Amma McKen, Iya Ola and Swahili Henry and a new dance performed by Sinque Tavares and choreographer Alycia Bright- Holland. IROKO also includes a book designed by Tao Chen featuring essay contributions by ecologist, Carmen R. Cid, art historian, Maline Werness-Rude, and writers Isis Rakia Mattei, María Vázquez, Esperanza Cáseres Santa Cruz, Jaime Gómez, Migdalia Salas and Humberto Figueroa.