Naomi Natale leads 6th Annual DaVinci Lecture Series

Social practice artist, Naomi Natale, was the speaker Friday night at the 6th Annual DaVinci Lecture Series at the Marshall University Visual Arts Center. Natale is the artistic director for the Art of Revolution, which uses art as a tool to help change public opinion and inspire citizens to make social changes.

Natale gave an approximately 45 minute lecture on her current and future projects, as well as what led drove her to complete each project.

Natale’s presentation began with a self-introduction. Natale said she found her artistic path during college with photography. She then traveled to Kenya to start her photographic career.

While in Kenya, Natale learned of 2 orphaned brothers who earned money in unique ways to support each other. One brother would create any object desired out of clay and the other would create small toy planes out of scrap metal that could apparently fly. Natale learned that these boys were missing in the village and suspected to be dead.

It was the story of the 2 boys that sparked Natale’s first project, the Cradle Project. The Cradle Project was created to bring awareness and raise funds to help the 48,000,000 orphans in poverty in different areas of Africa. Artists from around the world created cradles from found materials. Artists made 555 cradles for the project.

“Hundreds of empty cradles would speak volumes about loss,” Natale said.

Natale continued her presentation with a short film discussing the progress of her next project, One Million Bones. The video, which brought some to tears during the lecture, contained personal interviews with participants of the project.

One Million Bones was a 3 and a half year project that created handmade bones to represent the millions lost due to African genocide. At the end of the project, the bones were laid on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Natale progressed to discuss the projects that are being developed, Rhetoric in Revolution and En La Luz.

At the end of her lecture, a question and answer session was held. One comment came from the dean of the College of Arts and Media, Donald Van Horn. Van Horn referred to Natale’s presentation as one of the most powerful things he had ever seen.

Taylor Poling can be contacted by [email protected].