Masks, bowls, totems and fetishes --items allegedly endowed with magical powers--will be featured in the art exhibit “Power and Presence, Images of the Sublime from Africa, North America and the Pacific,” opening Wednesday at Rancho Santiago College.
Actor Vincent Price has loaned some items from his collection of the macabre, along with seven museums, including UCLA and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and 10 other private collectors. The exhibit will feature photographs from the last century depicting tribal life in the three areas. In addition, sounds including lightning, thunder, crickets and wild animals will be piped in to the gallery.
The fetishes were usually property of the tribal shamans, said gallery director Gene Isaacson. “They could be either malevolent or benevolent, in that they could be used for healing or to battle enemies,” he said. One fetish on display depicts a life-size wooden sculpture of a human body pierced by hundreds of nails, spears and spikes.
Apublic reception will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The college is located at 17th and Bristol streets.