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The William R. and Clarice V. Spurlock Museum at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Calendar of Events

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Brian Cudiamat / (217) 333-0889 /

August 2014

All events for August 2014

Exhibit: Sacred Symbols in Sequins: Vintage Haitian Vodou Flags

Sunday, April 6, 2014 - Sunday, August 10, 2014

For many Americans, the term Vodou brings up unfortunate, Hollywood-inspired imagery involving hexes and curses, but visitors to Sacred Symbols in Sequins will gain new insights to the beauty and sanctity of Haitian Vodou. This exhibit features 16 vintage Haitian Vodou flags (drapo Vodou) from a rarely seen private collection. Six sparkling Vodou libation bottles and eight portraits of contemporary Vodou practitioners by renowned photographer Phyllis Galembo provide a context for these dazzling sequin- and bead-encrusted ceremonial banners.

For generations, skilled Haitian flag makers have formed remarkable mosaics of religious imagery by combining and juxtaposing symbols of Europe and the Americas with those brought from Africa centuries ago by captive slaves. Vodou societies (sosyete) generally possess at least two flags that represent both their congregation and the deities they worship. These flags are among the most sacred and expensive of ritual implements. They are magnificent works of art that offer compelling stories about the relationships between cultures.

The Spurlock Museum’s changing exhibits are made possible through a gift from Allan C. and Marlene S. Campbell and supported in part by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

The exhibit is a program of Exhibits USA, a national Division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Location: Campbell Gallery, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL
Time: During Museum Hours
Cost: Free Admission
For further information, contact Kim Sheahan at (217) 244 - 3355 or