Wednesday, October 22, 2008

UIS Visual Arts Gallery to present photography exhibit "Indians from India"

Selections from "Indians from India," works by noted photographer Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, will be on display in the Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois at Springfield from Monday, November 3, through Wednesday, December 3.

An artist's talk and discussion session will be presented at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 6, in the gallery, followed by an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The artist's talk, reception, and exhibit are free and open to the public. The gallery is located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus.

Matthew is an associate professor of Art (Photography) at the University of Rhode Island whose work can be seen in numerous collections, including at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.

Of "Indians from India" she notes, "As an immigrant, I'm often questioned about where I'm 'really from.' When I say that I am Indian, I often have to clarify that I'm an Indian from India, not an American-Indian." In this portfolio, she compares early photographs of Native Americans with those taken by 19th century British photographers in India.

Since Bombay is home to a thriving movie industry -- producing more than 1,000 films each year -- the city has come to be known as "Bollywood." Matthew notes that her work "Bollywood Satirized" is a commentary on the social expectations she experienced growing up in India. Using digital technology to alter Indian movie posters, she re-interprets the images to humorously challenge the traditional gender roles and behavior of Indian society.

The artist's talk and discussion session on November 6 is also presented as part of the ECCE Speakers Series at UIS -- events that aim to exemplify engaged citizenship as part of the university's effort to foster appreciation for and practice of diversity and the active effort to make a difference in the world.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For further information, contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at For more information about Dr. Matthew's presentation, contact Liz Thomas, UIS assistant professor of Visual Art, at 206-7547.

For information about the ECCE Speakers Series, contact series coordinator Kimberly Craig at 206-6245 or send an e-mail to