The University of San Francisco Thacher Gallery Presents Feeding a Thousand Souls: Kolam by Bay Area Makers

The exhibit will run from March 6 through April 6, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 4, 2019) -- The University of San Francisco (USF) presents Feeding a Thousand Souls: Kōlam by Bay Area Makers from March 6-April 6, 2019 at various thresholds and the Kalmanovitz Hall Sculpture Terrace at USF. The exhibit is free and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays. 

Events include:

  • Preview Lecture with curator Vijaya Nagarajan -- Monday, March 4, 1-2 p.m., Getty Lounge, LoSchiavo Center
  • Guided Walking Tour -- Wednesday, March 6, 11:45 a.m.-12:50 p.m., McLaren Complex: Join curator Vijaya Nagarajan as she introduces the art and ritual of kōlam and interviews the artists creating these designs on campus. Finish with a reception on the Sculpture Terrace.

Created with rice flour on the thresholds of homes, businesses and temples, these ephemeral designs are offered as a morning ritual of gratitude and generosity by Tamil women throughout southern India and beyond. This thousand-year-old folk ritual welcomes and honors Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and alertness, and Bhudevi, the goddess of the earth. Formed by hand with great skill, artistry, and mathematical precision, the kōlam disappears in a few hours, borne away by passersby, insects and birds. In the Tamil language, the word kōlam means beauty, form play, disguise, and ritual design. This exhibition will introduce several kinds of kōlam, including the dot (pulli), square (katta), and figurative, among others.

Curated by Vijaya Nagarajan, Associate Professor, Theology/Religious Studies and Environmental Studies, University of San Francisco and author of Feeding a Thousand Souls: Women, Ritual, and Ecology in India -- An Exploration of the Kōlam. Co-presented by the University of San Francisco’s Thacher Gallery, Department of Theology/Religious Studies, and the Global Women’s Rights Forum.

About the Thacher Gallery

Celebrating its 20th year, the Thacher Gallery, located in the University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library, is a public art gallery where creativity, scholarship, and community converge. The gallery is free and open to the public daily 12-6pm. Located at 2130 Fulton Street. (415) 422-5178. Website: https://www.usfca.edu/thacher-gallery

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World From Here.” For more information, visit https://www.usfca.edu