Secrets Under the Skin is one of those remarkable creative collaborations involving the fusion of ethnographic concerns and creatively based works that from my point of view represents one of the more viable approaches to looking at cultures outside of our Eurocentric predispositions. This interdisciplinary approach is definitely a paradigm for future investigations. The videos, manuscript illuminations, photographic works and paintings were enlightening and moving. If academe is to be a venue for new ideas and directions this exhibition certainly did that. These works were resonant with a beautiful poetry that reminded me of Nicolas Calas's comment that the poet's job is to reduce the speed of light. Secrets Under the Skin certainly did that. It made you decelerate and take notice about the power and beauty of the Ghanaian culture and its connections to Cuba.
Dr. Charles E. Licka, Professor of Art History and Director of the Kimura Gallery, March 30, 2011
Secrets Under the Skin is a rare, stunning collaboration between unusually talented visual artists, dance faculty, and people from Cuba and Ghana who opened their hearts and danced religious beliefs to Dr. Crosby and her colleagues. I felt I was brought inside a way of life when viewing this exhibit, not standing outside it with a tourist's gaze. Only multiple years of respectful getting-acquainted with the people of Cuba and Ghana, which provides the basis for this exhibit, could have brought such depth of understanding and respect to the subject of this exhibit: How the religious beliefs of Ghana came to Cuba during slave-trade times and survived to provide meaning to peoples' lives. As an anthropologist, I was touched under my skin by this visual, soulful, feast of an exhibit.
Dr. Kerry Feldman, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, UAA, March 23, 2011
This is a true sensorial delight. The depth of the exhibit is just one of the many elements to appreciate and ponder.
Tami Phelps, January 16, 2011
As a dancer and visual artist, I was overwhelmed with the richness of the experience. It was a sensorial festival! Exotic music, fabulous displays, videos filmed on location in Ghana and Cuba, and complex visual art left me awestruck. Overall, I was left with the impression that no matter how many times I looked; there would still be more to see!
Maryann Frazier, March 25, 2011
Secrets Under the Skin is a marvelous exhibit documenting Cuban and Ghanaian culture. Susan Matthews' illustrated manuscripts are rich with color, symbolism and intimate stories. The photos by Brian Jeffery, and video documentation by Jill Flanders Crosby represent years of study that captures authentic movements and sounds of the Cuban and Ghanaian people. This exquisitely detailed show is cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary and deserves thorough examination.Susan Joy Share, March 28, 2011
* Banner image photographed by Brandon McElroy. All other photography on this page © Nick Bradford, 2010