“Daily Life and Popular Devotion in the Andes: Paintings from Tigua, Ecuador” is the title of an exhibit, free and open to the public, that opens with a reception from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, in the Art Space of Brady Educational Center at the University of St. Thomas.

The 10 acrylic paintings on sheepskin depict a wide variety of the domestic and religious activities, rituals and processions of the indigenous Andean community. Some of the paintings reflect a convergence and coexistence of traditional native beliefs and practices with imported Spanish Catholicism.

The paintings were produced between 1973 and 1999 by the native painters of Tigua, who have some renown in the art world with recent exhibits at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., and at the Berkeley Art Museum.

Also included in the exhibit are several of the ritual objects depicted in the paintings, including a complete Danzante costume and headdress; a “prioste faja,” a wide, embroidered and highly decorated band worn by the leader of a religious procession; and several masks. A documentary video about the artists of Tigua, produced by a Fulbright scholar in Ecuador, complements the exhibit.

The exhibition was organized and curated by St. Thomas graduate students in art history, for a course, “Art and Evangelization in the Colonial Americas,” taught by Dr. Susan Webster of the university’s Art History Department. A catalogue with entries on each painting accompanies the exhibit.

The exhibit runs through February 2000. For further information, call the Art History Department, (651) 962-5560.