As Michigan heads toward colder weather, INAI, an art gallery adjacent to Weber Retreat and Conference Center, welcomes a colorful exhibit from Peru. The Cuadros Exhibit, featuring textile pictures from Peru, opens Friday, November 5, 2021, and continues through Sunday, February 27, 2022. A reception is scheduled from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, November 7, 2021.
Cuadros are textile wall hangings depicting the lives of people in barrios, or shantytowns, outside of Lima, Peru. Women in Pamplona Alta create them through embroidery and appliquéd scraps of cotton or other materials. The Cuadros are an art of survival, documenting the struggles of the women living in difficult situations marked by political instability, economic hardship, and lack of steady work. They show hope and courage, presenting the women’s stories through bright colors, decorative patterns, and lively details.
Sister Barbara Cervenka, OP, herself an artist, first visited Pamplona Alta in 1989 at the invitation of Sister Pam Millenbach, OP, who ministered there with the late Sister Mary K. Duwelius, OP. “Peru was then in turmoil: Sendero Luminoso, a terrorist group, was bombing buildings in Lima and ravaging small towns in the countryside,” Sister Barbara recalled. She came to admire the artwork of the women and brought back as many of the Cuadros as she could.
Sister Barbara prepared a small exhibition of the Cuadros at the University of Michigan. Since then, through Con/Vida (“With Life”) – a nonprofit organization in Detroit that organizes exhibits of the work of local artists in Latin America – she has shown the Cuadros at nearly 100 sites, earning thousands of dollars that have helped to support the women of Pamplona Alta and their families. Sister Barbara and Mame Jackson are Co-directors of Con/Vida.
INAI (in-EYE) is a Japanese word meaning within. INAI, a place for quiet reflection and art, is open to the public. The INAI Gallery is adjacent to Weber Retreat and Conference Center, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse. Enter the Eastern-most driveway of the complex and follow the signs to Weber Center.
Gallery hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily or by appointment. Masks are required and guests must be screened at the Weber Center reception desk or Weber Center Shop. Please call 517-266-4090 or 313-608-9181 for an appointment to visit the gallery.