A breath-taking display of South African art is making its debut in Mid-Michigan.

This weekend the Flint Institute of Art is showcasing a new form of bead art that was crafted by a community of women living in South Africa.

The beading skills are passed down through generations.

“What it does is it takes women and it shows them they are born as artists,” said Bev Gibson, co-currator of Ubuhle Women: Beadwork & the Art of Independence.

Gibson is talking about a new form of textile art called Ndwango and it’s making its debut at the Flint Institute of Arts.

The exhibit, showcasing the intricate bead-work, was created by a community of women living and working in South Africa.

“I think what it does more than shows the world beautiful work, think it shows the incredible potential of rural women,” Gibson said.

This exhibit was first on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington in 2013 and will now be here in Mid- Michigan.

Gibson said the intricacy of each glass bead sewn into fabric has become more than a work of art for these women.

“Ndwago really for the women is at times, therapy and a lot of the work is people dealing with loss, delaing with creating a memory of someone important,” Gibson said. Read More