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The Elegba Principle, an installation by renowned artist Willie Cole, will be exhibited through Feb. 22 in the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery of Lafayette’s Williams Visual Arts Building.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The gallery will be closed Dec. 22-Jan. 6.

Cole will deliver a lecture 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, and participate in a reception 5:30-7 p.m. Free and open to the public, both events will take place in the Williams Visual Arts Building. Cole also will lead a workshop for local high school students.

Based on the Yoruba guardian of the crossroads, The Elegba Principle is a maze of doors salvaged from old buildings, with single words painted on them. The doors rotate on vertical poles as the viewer selects one to enter. Cole originally fashioned the installation for the Capp Street Project in San Francisco in 1995 and has recreated it several times since then.

In a review of works by Cole exhibited at Bronx Museum of the Arts last summer, including “The Elegba Principle,” The New York Times states that Cole “is increasingly matching material and emotional subtlety to conceptual ambition.

“When looking at the large body of work created by Willie Cole over the past ten years,” notes Nka – Journal of Contemporary African Art, “one is struck by the way he uses any given materials – usually found and used objects – and transforms them into multiple assemblages, each of them exploring ever-new combinations of image, meaning and form.”

Cole’s works are in the permanent collections of many museums, including Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Philadelphia Musuem of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and National Gallery of Art.

Cole received the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Memorial Fellowship this year. He has served as artist-in-residence with the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/Industry Program, Sheboygan, Wis., 2000; Capp Street Project, San Francisco, Calif., 1995; Pilchuck Glass School, Seattle, Wash., and The Contemporary, Baltimore, Md., 1994; and The Studio Museum, Harlem, N.Y., 1989.

He also served a residency in Bahia, Brazil, in 1999, won the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in 1996, and earned a Louis Tiffany Comfort Foundation Grant in 1995, a Wheeler Foundation Grant in 1994, a Penny McCall Foundation Grant in 1991, and a Rutgers Center for Innovative Printmaking Fellowship in 1991

Born in 1955 in Somerville, N.J., Cole earned a bachelor’s of fine arts from The School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1976.

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