GARRETT — An exhibit featuring 50 of Al Harding’s photographs, jewelry and swirls will be on display at the Garrett Museum of Art.

The exhibit opens at the museum from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and will run through Nov. 7.

The museum is located at 100 S. Randolph St.

Between 1973 and 2005, Harding Jr. and his wife Roberta, of Evansville, visited more than 100 countries. The rituals they observed during these journeys were as varied as the places visited. Some were common to everyday life and easy to understand. Others were so complex that they defy definition. Some can be traced to known historical events while others have lost their origins in the darkness of history. Often it can be observed that rituals have religious roots; Animist, Buddhist, Catholic, Islamic, Jewish, Pagan, Protestant. Others have a cultural or social background. Rituals can be expressed in a variety of ways, ranging from deferential passivity to exuberant physical activity. Each was captured through Harding’s camera lens and described in Roberta’s notes.

In 2007, the couple generously donated a collection of over 80 photographs to the Evansville Museum following a major exhibition of their work in the museum’s main gallery to understand that people are not just different in the world, but to begin to understand why they are different, learn what is important and sacred to them, makes sense of world events and past and present conflicts.

“We can gain knowledge, as well as enrichment, in the history of rituals in human history. In this season of many rituals, rites and celebrations, we remember this remarkable couple and their important legacy,” said museum directors Mary Bower and John Streetman III.

Ritual, rite, ceremony, celebration, tradition, custom, observance – these words describe something sacred passed down from generation to generation. They relate to various themes throughout history and address class, profession, creed, relationship, family, identity, gender. In short, all the elements that occupy the lives of human beings and help explain who we were, and are, and who will become our children, Bower added.

A Spotlight Gallery will showcase the jewelry art of Juanita La Hurreau of Fort Wayne, created with pieces and parts of costume jewelry. Her first jewelry artwork was “My First Christmas”. Shortly after, she found chains reminiscent of a mane and an amazing eye jewel and “The Horse” was born. Discover these sparkling pieces on display from Thursday to October 3.

Swirls are one of the newest forms of folk art. Moving like windmills on a blustery day, the whirlwind is whimsical and several handmade originals will be on display in the Spotlight Gallery.

These swirls are made by Mike McBride of Lake James, Angola and inspired by the swirls he saw on a trip to Maine. McBride has been a woodworker for years and also restores Chris Crafts, as well as other boats.

Museum hours are Friday 5-8pm, Saturday 4-7pm, and Sunday 1-4pm. Other days are by appointment by calling 704-5400, [email protected]_gmoa or visiting the Garrett Museum of Art on Facebook. Admission is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome.


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