Valley opens the doors to the "Faces of Africa" Art Exhibit

October 16, 2017

ITTA BENA-- The Mississippi Valley State University community received a glimpse of Africa during the opening reception of the “Faces of Africa” art exhibit at the James H. White Library.

Nearly 50 people showed up for the opening reception. The celebration kicked off with the MVSU Choir, under the direction of Dr. John Weiss, rendering a musical selection with solost Morgon Johnson..

Co-curator and MVSU Assistant Professor of History Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed of Indianola, MS, expressed how thrilled she was to have an exhibit of this magnitude on Valley’s campus.

“We are so honored to have this exhibit here for the Mississippi Valley State campus,” said Turnipseed in her comments during the reception. I am so thankful to all the departments who had a hand in making this happen,” she added. 

The phenomenal six-month presentation of traditional African images gives students, faculty and the community an opportunity to learn more about Africa’s 54 sovereign countries, nine territories and two de facto independent states.

Dr. Jerryl Briggs, acting president of MVSU, welcomed the audience to the exhibit and shared why housing such an important feature was beneficial to the Valley family.

“We are moving in the right direction and with this art exhibit, which shows the rich history and culture of Africa we are definitely in motion,” Briggs said.   

Mantra Henderson, director of library services, expressed, “This exhibit marks the beginning of the kind of major displays we are very interested in presenting on-going in the James H. White Library.”

The highly praised collection reflects 3,500 years of African art and cultural traditions rendered by critically acclaimed artist Richard W. Jones (1934-2008). The collection features: ancient Nok head busts, Yoruba statues, Benin bronzes, as well as the spectacular masks of Dogon dancers and contemporary South African murals. The exhibit also showcases a Diaspora collection that includes Caribbean and African America expressions.

“Faces of Africa” will be on display until March 30, 2018.

For more information and instructions on how to arrange a guided lecture/tour or field trip for your students, please contact Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed at (662) 254-3025; (662) 347-8198 or