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Journey of the Spirit series presents "Queen of Rubber Soul"

Oct. 19, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Artist Chakaia Booker, known as the "Queen of Rubber Soul," will present a slide-lecture of her work at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, in room 2302 of Sangren Hall at Western Michigan University. The event is free and open to the public.

First dubbed the "Queen of Rubber Soul" by ArtNews magazine, Booker uses tires as a primary medium. She speaks to issues of mobility and transportation, labor, industry and the human condition as a whole.

She takes tire rubber, a relatively rigid material, and gives it flexibility by cutting, shaping, folding, and arranging the pieces to create sculptures with multiple surfaces and textures. Her works are influenced by traditional African art and her African heritage, employing highly patterned fabrics and references to the practice of scarification.

Booker's lecture is sponsored by the WMU School of Art and the King-Chavez-Parks Visiting Artists Program and is presented as part of the 2005-06 Journey of the Spirit series of the WMU College of Fine Arts.

"Exploring Innovation" is the theme of this year's Journey of the Spirit series, which presents events with a focus on ideas and themes shared across the visual and performing arts. Through this approach the College of Fine Arts provides a public curriculum through which artists from varied backgrounds--dancers, musicians, actors, choreographers, designers, and visual artists--are on equal footing with one another and the audience.

Upcoming events in the series include the "Great Works in Dance and Music Gala Concert" Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4-5, 2006, in Miller Auditorium and the Friday, March 24, 2006, performance of the University Theatre production of "Hip Hop Creation."

For more Information about the Journey of the Spirit series, contact Jim Hopfensperger, associate dean of fine arts, at jim.hopfensperger@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5810.

More information about Booker is available at www.chakaiabooker.com.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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