8405 Germantown Ave. Philadelphia, PA. 19118
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bruce Hoffman – Director
“Botswana and the Art of the Kalahari”
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 5th, 5-8 PM; Show Dates: February 3-28, 2015
CHESTNUT HILL, PA, February 2, 2015 – The Goldenberg Group, The People Helping People Foundation and Gravers Lane Gallery present “Botswana and the Art of the Kalahari,” an exhibit bridging cultural barriers, providing income to communities in need and supporting the Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP), which builds high-quality healthcare in the Southern African country.
The exhibit emerged from a friendship between Gravers Lane Gallery Director Bruce Hoffman and Philadelphia-based artist Cynthia Friedman, who has traveled extensively to Botswana with her husband, Harvey M. Friedman, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP).
As Harvey Friedman built the BUP program in Botswana, Cindy forged relationships in the country’s arts community, particularly in Gaborone, the capital city, where the couple stays. Her friendships at the National Museum of Botswana, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, the Kalahari Quilt Shop and the Kuru Development Trust led her bring the first exhibition of Botswana artwork to the United States.
Cindy said she was instantly captivated by the vibrant colors used by the indigenous people of Botswana, the Basarwa, also known as the San, who are considered one of the world’s oldest cultures.
“The San live in the middle of nowherein the Kalahari Desert,” she said. “Formerly nomads, the painters who are part of the Kuru Development are now stationary in D’Kar and their work is incredible,” she said.
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She shared her enthusiasm with Gravers Lane Gallery Director Bruce Hoffman, who helped select the artwork for this exhibition and designated a portion of the proceeds to benefit BUP.
“This was a great opportunity for Gravers Lane Gallery to highlight Penn’s role in helping health organizations in Botswana,” Hoffman said. “We’re thrilled to be able to support both local artists in Botswana as well as BUP’s important work.”
When Penn was invited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Merck Foundation, and the Government of Botswana to train health care workers on the management of HIV-infected patients in Botswana almost 14 years ago, the country had the highest AIDS infection rate in the world per capita, according to Harvey Friedman.
With Penn’s help, Botswana has made tremendous strides in its fight against AIDs. Today, BUP serves as technical advisers for clinical care and education, and builds research collaborations with key stakeholders in Botswana.
“The fact that we are getting proceed benefits to support our program is absolutely perfect,” Friedman said. “This money can be used to build in new directions, which is absolutely critical to the health of the program.”
ABOUT THE BOTSWANA-UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA PARTNERSHIP (BUP)
Comprised of three main partners including the Government of Botswana, the University of Botswana and the University of Pennsylvania, the BUP believes that quality medicine should be available to populations in need. Through clinical care, research and medical education, the BUP is devoted to building capacity in sustainable and high quality healthcare in Botswana. For more information about the BUP, visit http://www.med.upenn.edu/botswana/TheBUP.shtml
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Cindy Friedman is a fiber artist who has worked in the Philadelphia area for more than 30 years. She has had a lifelong obsession with fiber, starting with a childhood filled with sewing and needle arts, which led to careers as an Industrial Designer and Fashion Designer. Her internationally exhibited work can be found in gallery exhibitions, private collections and locally in the Hospital of the University of PA, Infectious Disease Clinic and the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House. To learn more about Cindy, visit http://www.cindyfriedman.com/dev/
ABOUT GRAVERS LANE GALLERY
Located in Chestnut Hill, PA and founded in 2010, Gravers Lane Gallery features works by both established and emerging talent from around the world in a range of media. Located at 8405 Germantown Avenue, Gravers Lane Gallery is a division of The Goldenberg Group, which is comprised of three entities: Goldenberg Development, People Helping People Foundation, and Goldenberg Enterprises. For more information about Gravers Lane Gallery, visit http://www.graverslanegallery.com.