Images from Senegal on Display in Ashford Art Gallery

Art Gallery to Feature Senegal Images

“Postcards from Senegal: Art of Daily Life,” an exhibit by Rachel Ray, will be on display in the Ashford University Cortona Art Gallery from January 25-March 5. A reception for the artist is planned for Monday, Feb. 22 from 4-6 p.m. in the Gallery.

The exhibit is from a curriculum project that Ray created as part of a Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad Grant. She was one of 16 U.S. participants who spent four weeks studying west African art and culture in Senegal. After returning to the United States, Ray created the curriculum unit about art and then submitted it to the Fulbright Commission and the U.S. Department of Education. 

“I am particularly interested in the connections that exist between spirituality and artistic expression in West Africa,” Ray said. “This curriculum project consists of learning and assessment activities centered on a photographic exhibition and travel blog site generated as a result of my experiences in Senegal,” she said.

“The premise is to explore the way that art interacts with everyday life in Senegal and to encourage students to begin to consider how art interacts with their everyday lives. The culture and people of West Africa are so rich and varied, but, unfortunately, what we in the West see of Africa is often associated with genocide, famine, and disease,” Ray said.

Ray teaches an online art history survey course for the art and design transfer department of Vincennes University (VU) in Vincennes, IN. where she has taught since 2005.  Ray holds a master’s degree in art history from Indiana University, a museum studies certificate from the University of Cincinnati, and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Marian College. She served for one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA community health advocate in Nevada.  In addition to teaching at VU, Ray also is employed part-time at the Knox County Public Library.

The Cortona Gallery is located on the second floor of Ashford University’s Clare Hall at 400 North Bluff Boulevard in Clinton. The Gallery is named for Sister Cortona Phelan, OSF, former president of Mount St. Clare College (MSC) and former president of the Sisters of St. Francis.  For many years, Sister Cortona influenced the quality of education at the College through her teaching of American history and her love of the arts.  She also served as MSC Academy Principal and as Dean of Students at the College.

The Gallery is open to the public, free of charge, every weekday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and for private showings by appointment. For further information, please call 563.242.4023.

About Ashford University

Founded in 1918, Ashford University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools ( The University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs online and at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. The University is known for its high quality yet highly affordable online and on-campus programs. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, director of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.