The Cuesta College Fine Arts Department is set to host a lecture by University of Santa Barbara Emeritus Professor and published scholar Dr. Herbert M. Cole on December 6. Titled “Maternity: Mothers and Children in the Arts of Africa,” the lecture provides a free opportunity for both Cuesta College students and the community to hear a lecture on non-western art, as well as discuss Dr. Cole’s new book by the same title. The event is free to attend and will take place at 5:30 p.m. on the San Luis Obispo Campus in the Humanities Forum (6304).

“Dr. Cole will define maternity as a simultaneously biological and cultural phenomenon,” said Cuesta College Fine Arts Division Assistant Magnolia Stork.

“Mother and child imagery is prevalent on the African continent wherever visual arts are valued, from early rock-art sites, to ancient Egypt and Ethiopia, to West and Central African kingdoms and villages and in contemporary arts. Found in varied materials – stone, ivory, metals, wood, gold-leaf and paint – maternity images are used by everyone, from commoners to kings. Dr. Cole will discuss how, for much of human history, this art has idealized and glorified maternity and today is used to address the risks and stresses of motherhood in modern life.”

About Dr. Herbert M. Cole: From 1968-2003, Dr. Cole taught history of African art and architecture at UCSB, along with terms at UCLA and the University of Cape Town. Dr. Cole earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College, and both his Master of Arts and Doctorate degrees from Columbia College.

Dr. Cole has conducted four years of fieldwork in Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali and Kenya, and authored, co-authored, and/or edited 11 books and more than 60 articles on African arts. Dr. Cole curated 12 exhibitions on African art and, in 2001, received a leadership award from the Arts Council of the African Studies Association. For the past 16 years, as Kofi Cole, he has carved miniature works of African art. His book, “Maternity: Mothers and Children in the Arts of Africa,” will soon be distributed in the United States by Yale University Press.