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Upcoming Events

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil

Open to the Public: September 9 through October 17, 2019
Hours of Operation: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

For class visits, please contact [email protected] to schedule an appointment

School of Art + Design University Gallery
5500 Campanile Dr. / San Diego CA 92182-4805
Parking Information

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints explores how the ancient cultures of Africa blended with indigenous and colonial Portuguese traditions to form the vibrant and complex cultural mosaic of modern Brazil. This traveling art exhibition is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities  as part of NEH on the Road. 

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints is an exhibition in three parts:
“The Land & its People” presents the complicated history of sugar plantations and African slavery in colonial Brazil. It introduces the parched backlands of the sertão and the challenging life of the vaqueiros (cowboys), retirantes (migrant workers), and the heroes of the ordinary people of the Northeast.

“Expressions of Faith” presents the rich African-Brazilian religion of Candomblé, exploring its historic African roots and its intersection with Roman Catholicism. Photographs, paintings, and sacred objects show colorful processions, festivals, and pilgrimages of these two religious traditions.

“Poetry, Celebration & Song” features literatura de cordel (literature on a string) produced by singing poets who “sell” their songs in small chapbooks in markets and fairs. Poetry, prints, and sculptures inspired by folk legends and current events signal the dynamic fusion of tradition and improvisation in the culture of the Northeast.

Learn more about the exhibition.


Past Events