The Lowe Art Museum is mounting a unique exhibition, “Kay Pacha: Reciprocity with the Natural World,” on view from Feb. 12 through July 2.
This extraordinary show is the first curated exhibition of Andean art from the Lowe’s permanent collection of more than 1,000 antique stone, metal, wood, ceramic, and textile objects from Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, many on view for the first time ever.
The exhibition explores the ancient Andean concept of ayni, or reciprocity between humans and nature that fuels life on kay pacha, the surface of the earth. This show is a unique attempt to explore how humans used art to express their gratitude, fear, and indebtedness to the harsh natural world of the Andes.
Reciprocity is an abstract concept in modern society but it was a key value that structured many aspects of ancient life in the unforgiving environment of the Andean mountains and coastal desert. Ceramic jars in the shape of a crab, royal robes made of parrot feathers or fine alpaca wool, and silver disks decorated with shellfish from the Lowe’s collections speak to how material objects conveyed the interrelatedness of life, authority, and power in these cultures. Also included is an exquisite featherwork piece from the collections of the Jay I. Kislak Foundation.
“Kay Pacha: Reciprocity with the Natural World” opens on Feb. 11 with a lecture by Dr. Traci Ardren, professor at the University of Miami’s Department of Anthropology and curator of the show. The lecture is at 7 p.m. in the Storer Auditorium at the University of Miami, followed by an opening reception at the Lowe from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10; free for Lowe members.
In addition, an Exhibition Symposium will take place on Saturday, Feb. 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the university’s Storer Auditorium. The symposium, featuring various experts speaking on different pieces from the exhibition, is organized by the University of Miami’s Anthropology Department in conjunction with the Center for Humanities. Admission is free.
The Lowe Art Museum (www.miami.edu/lowe), a unit of the College of Arts & Sciences, is located on the campus of the University of Miami at 1301 Stanford Dr. in Coral Gables. Museum gallery and store hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays and university holidays. General Admission (not including programs) is $10, $5 for senior citizens and non-UM students, and free for Lowe members, UM students, faculty and staff, and children under 12.
Admission is free on Donation Day, the first Tuesday of every month. Public program admission is generally $10 for non-members and free for Lowe members.