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Styles & Periods
African Art

The term "African art" encompasses the various artworks of more than 50 distinct nations and a period of more than a millennium. Africa includes cultures that have been non-literate up until a few generations ago, and those who have been reading and writing Arabic for nine hundred years. The African landscapes range from arid deserts to lush river valleys. Many African cultures prefer a nomadic or semi-settled lifestyle; others have erected large palaces - such as those in 16th century Benin. African arts exhibit no less variety. Rock art has been produced in Africa from 25,000 B.C.E. up to the 19th century. Textiles, scarification, jewelry, painting, sculpture, architecture, and festival arts (such as masquerade) all have an established place in the African arts arena. Art-making is commonly divided along gender lines, though collaborative art is usual as well, and the accomplishments of individual artists, while recognized, are generally not given as much prominence as in the West. Another commonality among the diversity of African art is its primacy in African cultures. Rather than serving merely to adorn, arts in Africa are part of the ideology and cultural construction of societies. A distinction is seldom made between the so-called "fine" and "applied" arts; indeed, most African languages have no word for "art" as it is expressed in the West, indicating the seamless integration of art into the lives of African peoples. "Objects" of art in Africa derive meaning, even as they imbue meaning, contextually; the way a mask, for example, is perceived will change drastically depending on the perspective of the viewer as spectator, wearer, buyer or collector.


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Latest Product Reviews

I have been using Fluid paper for a few years now and find that it's a great value for the price. The quality is suitable for beginner to intermediate level painters. Very easy to work with, accepts watercolor paints, pencils, aqua crayons and markers well.
- Vickie Hutchinson in Western Mass.
I've been using Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Technical Pens since 1969. My aunt bought me my first set when I was 12 and I have used them daily ever since. I love the fact that I can mix my ink colors to match my watercolor or my wardrobe and use "Pelikan Drawing Ink A" almost exclusively. Though the inks made by Koh-I-Noor and Winsor Newton are satisfactory. If you are a beginner, I would NOT recommend purchasing anything smaller than an 0 (0.35 mm). Even as a professional I find cleaning a 4x0 to be a challenge. I work most often with a 2x0, and find them to produce the smoothest flow, if kept clean.
- Colleen P in Homer, Alaska
My clay was very useful, and I put it to work a lot; however, after a month, you could tell it was drying out. It's as hard as a rock now. I reccomend getting a smaller container to use in a small period of time!
- Larke R. in Lebanon, KS

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