From March 6 until April 17, 2019, the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies will be presenting the art exhibit The Azores: Nine Islands, Nine Photographs. This will not only be the first time that this exhibit is shown in the United States, but the first time that it will be shown outside of Portugal. Not only that, according to Dr. Frank Sousa, the director of the Saab Center for Portuguese Studies, this is the first major photography exhibit related to Portugal to ever come to Lowell and the Merrimack Valley.
According to the press release from the Saab Center of Portuguese Studies, the exhibit has “Taken together, the photos, all in large format, capture the people, customs and natural wonders of the Azores like no others.” The press release goes on to explain that few people have actually been to the Azores islands, saying, “The exhibition is an exceptionally rare opportunity to witness the customs and the natural wonders that have shaped the archipelago’s almost 600-year history.” The exhibit, which is comprised of over 50 photographs and showcases all nine of the Azores Islands will produce, “a portrait of Portugal’s most mysterious and enigmatic territory, and revealing the enduring legacy of the Azores and its people.”
The photographers whose work will appear in the show will include Luís Barra, Pedro Letria, Bruno Portela, Luís Ramos, José Manuel Ribeiro, Daniel Rocha, José António Rodrigues, Gonçalo Rosa da Silva and Luís Vasconcelos.
On bringing The Azores: Nine Islands, Nine Photographers to UMass Lowell, Dr. Sousa said it has been a four-year process.
“It’s been a difficult process as bringing the exhibition has involved artists, the Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal. But the Saab Center has had wonderful and generous support from these institutions, including the use of diplomatic pouch from the Embassy of Portugal in Washington DC and the Consulate General of Portugal in Boston.”
The opening reception for the exhibit will be at University Crossing at Maloney Hall, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6. One of the photographers, Pedro Letria, a graduate of the Chicago School of Art and Rhode Island School of Design, will act as the keynote speaker for the event. Letria will also give a public lecture to the students of the Department of Art and Design on Friday, March 8 at 2:30 p.m. in O’Leary Library.
This program is supported by UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores.