The Indianapolis Museum of Art is reopening its Eiteljorg Galleries of African and South Pacific Art with a bang. Although the galleries are officially reopening on Feb. 5, Saturday the IMA will host a performance of African drumming and dance led by Blaise Zekalo, a master drummer based here in Indianapolis who has represented the Cote d’Ivoire and won a gold medal at the Olympics of Drumming in Madagascar. Zekalo will be joined by several of the Cote d’Ivoire’s finest dance and drum artists who will come to Indianapolis especially for this performance. This rare opportunity to experience West African dance and drum culture takes place Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $7 (free for IMA members).
The Eiteljorg Gallery of African Art is divided into five sections representing that continent’s major cultural and geographic zones: Northern, Western, Central, Southern and Eastern Africa. The variety of objects presented is extraordinary, and includes ritual masks, ceramic vessels, furniture, jewelry, clothing and contemporary art, many of which are displayed in the open. There’s a particularly fine collection of pieces from Western Africa, including objects from the Yoruba and Asante peoples, and the Benin Kingdom. A special exhibition of West African ceramic vessels will also open on Feb. 5. The Eiteljorg Galleries are located on the second gallery level of the Hulman Pavilion.
Admission to the IMA is free Sunday, and many activities to celebrate the new galleries will be available. For more information, call 317-923-1331 or go to www.ima-art.org. The IMA is located at 4000 Michigan Road.