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Kenyan artist Tarus opens new exhibit ‘The River Between’ at Lyric Theatre & Cultural Center

The Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center welcomes the new exhibit to our gallery: ‘The River Between’ by artist Kiptoo Tarus, on display now through April 6, 2016.

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1984, Tarus obtained his B.A in 2008 from The University of Nairobi for Design, majoring in Illustration. He moved on to open his own Graphic Design Company, King Concepts, eventually leading him to studying Sculpture at The University of Kentucky.

Through his education and ongoing, evolving work in a variety of mediums, Tarus maintains that one consistent theme and driving influence is his heritage and ancestry.

The Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center welcomes the new exhibit to our gallery: 'The River Between' by artist Kiptoo Tarus, on display now through April 6, 2016 (Photo Provided)

The Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center welcomes the new exhibit to our gallery: ‘The River Between’ by artist Kiptoo Tarus, on display now through April 6, 2016 (Photo Provided)

“I have always been fascinated with the nomadic pastoralist life of my ancestors, who traversed through the Rift Valley for thousands of years,” he said. “Their frequent movement in search of greener pastures for their herd dictates a simple lifestyle and the need to be as mobile – and content – as they possibly can. This form of human interrelationship defies fixed “tribal” boundaries and attribution. I draw my artistic inspiration from anthropological forms of the personal objects they bring with them during their migratory experiences.”

While his heritage still shines through in his work, many of his pieces are reflective of the struggle of maintaining this connection to his culture while adapting to new mediums and experiences in America, expressed distinctly in this exhibit.

“The river between in the Kenyan folklore is an analogy of transitioning when crossing a river separating two villages of different tribes. Compromise is key in peaceful negotiations and adaptations of interaction from both sides. My passage to and through America hasn’t been easy, and the predominant experience has been one of isolation. This isolation, or in instances, my rage against it, is a predominant theme in my paintings and sculptures, that continue make art from the pain of the nomadic loner,” Tarus explains.

“This collection is a testament to my progress as well as my struggles, and its title is taken from the wooden sculptural evocation of an angel that stands outside. Tamirmiriet is the guiding spirit of reason from my tribe, The Kalenjin, and the village elders would evoke Tamirmiriet to guide them for clarity and sanity, and this piece is in testament to the broken light I follow in order to make art, a presence evoking pain, but promising triumph, that I look to and follow in my creative process.”

The Lyric’s Gallery & Museum are free & open to the public.

Gallery hour are: Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday: 1-5 p.m.

From Lyric Theater Communications

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