Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art


Media Contact:
Annie Hughes
Communications Associate 
Loyola University Chicago

Depictions of Ethiopian History on Display at LUMA

New Exhibit Celebrates One of Ethiopia's Finest Living Artists


CHICAGO, August 13, 2007  - The Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) announces the opening of Painting Ethiopia: The Life and Work of Qes Adamu Tesfaw. On display from Friday, August 31 to Sunday, November 4, 2007, the exhibition showcases the remarkable paintings of Qes Adamu Tesfaw, which depict the social, political, and religious history of Ethiopia as well as contemporary popular culture.

The exhibition features 36 paintings portraying the richness of both religious and secular life in Ethiopia, along with scenes from important historical events that have shaped the country's identity. Qes Adamu's style is infused with a sense of humor that informs the self-awareness of his art.

Pamela Ambrose, director of LUMA, explains the connection between the exhibit and the Chicago community: "Over the past 20 years, a recent wave of immigration has increased the Ethiopian population here in Chicago, creating a vibrant community of restaurants, shops, and organizations. They are a dynamic ethnic and cultural group, and we hope, through the beauty and narratives of Qes Adamu's work, to acquaint our museum visitors with the richness of Ethiopian culture."

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Raymond Silverman, professor of the history of art and Afro-American and African studies at the University of Michigan, and organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA and the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University.

Dr. Silverman first encountered Qes Adamu's work in 1991, and eventually met him in 1993 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Visiting the artist's house, Dr. Silverman found the walls covered with murals of incredible intensity. After 11 years and several visits with the artist, Dr. Silverman has transformed Qes Adamu's art into an informative exhibition that features almost 2,000 years of culture and history, as seen through the eyes of one fascinating artist.

Educational Programs:

Ongoing Film Presentation

A film presentation entitled, "A Conversation with Qes Adamu Tesfaw," will be shown in the galleries throughout the course of the exhibition.

Saturday, September 8, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Happy Ethiopian Millennium!

Stop by LUMA and celebrate the Ethiopian millennium with a day of culture, history, and art! Festivities will take place at the Quinlan Life Sciences Education and Research Center, on Loyola's Lake Shore Campus, 1050 West Sheridan Road. Reservations are suggested and can be made contacting the museum atluma@luc.edu or 312-915-7630. In addition, there will be opportunities for donations at the door. 

Tuesday, September 25, 6 p.m.
An Artist's View of Ethiopia: The Paintings of Qes Adamu Tesfaw

This lecture traces the sequence of events that led to the first major exhibition in the U.S. focusing on a single traditional artist from Ethiopia. Raymond Silverman, curator of Painting Ethiopia, will discuss his 11-year collaboration with Qes Adamu Tesfaw during which Silverman learned about painting in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and the impact that the commercial art market has had on the work and lives of some of Ethiopia's finest Church-trained artists. The lecture will be held at the William G. and Marilyn M. Simpson Lecture Hall at LUMA, and is free for members and $5 for non-members. Reservations are recommended, and can be made by contacting the museum at luma@luc.edu or 312-915-7630. 

Tuesday, October 23, 6 p.m.
The Tapestry of Ethiopian Religions

Dr. Donald Levine, professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Chicago, will hold a lecture at the William G. and Marilyn M. Simpson Lecture Hall at LUMA, discussing the three religions of Ethiopia: Ethiopian Orthodoxy, Judaism, and Islam. The event is free for members and $5 for non-members. Reservations are recommended, and can be made by contacting the museum at luma@luc.edu or 312-915-7630.

Painting Ethiopia: The Life and Work of Qes Adamu Tesfaw is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

About LUMA
Opened in 2005, the Loyola University Museum of Art is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies. As a museum with an interest in education and educational programming, LUMA reflects the University’s Jesuit mission and is dedicated to helping people of all creeds explore the roots of their faith and spiritual quests. Located at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus, the museum occupies the first three floors of the University’s historic Lewis Towers on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. For more information, visit the museum’s website at LUC.edu/luma.

Art illuminating the spirit!