University Relations and Communications

Northcutt Steele exhibit features art from Peruvian perspective

February 12, 2010



Grace Frankforter, Northcutt Steele Gallery, 657-2324
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


‘Picturing Paradise’ includes hand-fabricated textile artwork done by women in art cooperatives


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — A new exhibit at the Northcutt Steele Gallery at Montana State University Billings features the hopes and dreams of Peruvian women expressed in textile art.


sample of Peruvian art“Picturing Paradise” is being brought to Billings by Rebecca Berru Davis, an art instructor, curator and doctoral student from California. The exhibit features hand-fabricated textile artwork by women of the Compacto Humano, and Manos Anchashinas, two art cooperatives located in Pamplona Alta, a shanty town near Lima, Peru. Called “cuadros,” the jewel-toned works use embroidery and appliqué to illustrate the daily lives of these women and express the hopes they have for themselves, their families and the world.


The exhibit will be on display in the Northcutt Steele Gallery from Feb. 19 to March 12. A presentation by Davis will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday Feb. 19 in Room 205 of the Liberal Arts building. A reception and refreshments will follow at the Northcutt Steele from 5-9 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.


Davis is a doctoral student in Theology in the Area of Art and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif. She has over 20 years experience as an art instructor and worked for four years as curator of education at a contemporary art museum. She became acquainted with a group of Peruvian women while doing fieldwork as an art history graduate. She commissioned work from them and collaborated with them to create this exhibit.


In addition to introducing these women and their work through venues such as church galleries and universities in several states, the cuadros are available for purchase and the funds are sent directly to the women.  Cuadros will be available for sale through the MSU Billings Art Department Office throughout the duration of the show.


The Northcutt Steele Gallery, located on the first floor of the Liberal Arts building on the MSU Billings main campus, has no admission charge and is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when school is in session.


For more information on this exhibit, contact Grace Frankforter, gallery curator, at 657-2324.


PHOTO ABOVE: sample of the artwork that will be on display at Northcutt Steele Gallery.