Franci Neely, a philanthropist and arts advocate from Houston, recently attended the opening of the “Art of Cameroon Grassfields: A Living Heritage in Houston” exhibition at the Menil Collection. The exhibition highlights the art and cultural traditions of the Grassfields region of Cameroon, West Africa, and features a collection of over 150 objects, including masks, costumes, and sculptures.
Neely’s attendance at the exhibition is yet another example of her unwavering support for Houston’s vibrant arts scene. Over the years, she has served on the boards of several Houston arts institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Neely has also been recognized for her philanthropic work, receiving accolades such as the Houston Bar Association President’s Award for Outstanding Service and the Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts Volunteer of the Year Award.
The “Art of Cameroon Grassfields” exhibition is the first major exhibition of its kind in the United States. It showcases the art and cultural traditions of the Grassfields region of Cameroon, which has been designated by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.” The exhibition features a diverse range of objects, including headdresses worn by members of the royal court, masks used in masquerade performances, and intricate beaded sculptures.
During her visit to the exhibition, Neely emphasized the importance of promoting cultural exchange and preserving cultural heritage. She noted that the “Art of Cameroon Grassfields” exhibition provides a unique opportunity for visitors to learn about the rich cultural traditions of Cameroon and gain a deeper understanding of the country’s history and people.
In conclusion, Franci Neely’s attendance at the “Art of Cameroon Grassfields” exhibition at the Menil Collection highlights her commitment to promoting cultural diversity and exchange in Houston. Her philanthropic work and advocacy for the arts have played a critical role in shaping Houston’s vibrant arts scene, supporting local artists and institutions. The exhibition is a testament to the importance of preserving cultural heritage and promoting mutual understanding.