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The African Marketplace: Selections from the Collection of Bobbie Person and Adam Wolkon

The African Marketplace:

Selections from the Collection of Bobbie Person and Adam Wolkon

Exhibition on display: March 22 – May 2, 2010

Title unknown
Watercolor, signed “Dean,” purchased in Kenya

Wednesday, March 24, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 

Art Gallery, Hege Library

Please join us for an opening reception, featuring an African drumming performance by Atiba Rorie at 7:00 p.m. The collectors, Bobbie Person and Adam Wolkon, will be present, along with the guest curator Dr. Conchita Ndege.


This exhibition features objects purchased in African marketplaces, where both contemporary utilitarian objects and traditional artifacts can be found side by side with Western products and local produce. The textiles, sculptures and utilitarian objects in the exhibition come from fifteen sub-Saharan African countries including Angola, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, and Zambia.
The collectors, Bobbie Person and Adam Wolkon, live in Atlanta and work in international public health. They travel frequently and widely throughout Africa in their work. Their daughter, Mara Karell, is a Sociology/Anthropology major in the Class of 2012. Photographs of African markets, taken by Adam Wolkon, are also part of the exhibition.
The exhibition is guest curated by Dr.Conchita Ndege, professor of history at North Carolina A&T State University. Her major disciplines are African Studies and African History, African and African American Cultural Connections, Museum Studies, and Art and Cultural History. During her tenure at NC A&T State University she also served for fourteen years as the Director of the Mattye Reed African Heritage Center, a museum with collections of art and artifacts from various African countries as well as the African Diaspora. While there, she curated several exhibitions relating to African and Africana art and cultural history.
Dr. Ndege is the recipient of various museum grants and fellowships. Her fellowships include awards such as the United Negro College Fund for Ph. D. research in Kenya and Nigeria, the National Endowment for the Humanities for an African Film Seminar in Senegal, the Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship in Nairobi, Kenya and a South African research fellowship at the University of Fort Hare in the Republic of South Africa where she did research at the DeBeers Art Gallery and the Fort Hare Cultural Center. As a Fulbright in Kenya, Dr. Ndege was attached to the Center for African Studies, University of Nairobi and the National Museum of Kenya where she taught and did research.
Dr. Ndege is a former Peace Corps volunteer and has taught and lived in Uganda for more than ten years. She holds a Ph. D. from Howard University in African Studies and did graduate work at George Washington University in Museum Studies. In addition, Dr. Ndege has taught and worked at other universities and cultural institutions such as Howard University, the Corcoran School of Art, Georgetown University, the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.